Ironically, one of the places where you’re most likely to get sick
is in a hospital, a place intended to make you well. Hospitals and other
medical facilities are notorious for the presence of disease-causing bacteria
and viruses. Sometimes these infections occur simply because more sick
people are gathered in one place, or because hospital patients often have
suppressed immune systems. Occasionally the risks are amplified when hospital
staff neglect to take basic precautions, which you can read more about
here. Let’s examine a few of the most common disease-causing germs you’re
likely to encounter in medical facilities.
Influenza. The many types of flu are highly contagious (often airborne) and easy
to spread, partly because they continue to mutate into new strains, and
partly because a person can be contagious before showing any symptoms.
Flu can also be deceptively serious, especially among those with weakened
Norovirus. Often erroneously called “stomach flu,” norovirus isn’t
a flu at all. Rather, it’s a common virus that causes gastroenteritis,
with symptoms that include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Aside from the
discomfort itself, dehydration remains one of the most significant risks
of this disease as the body continually loses fluids.
Staphylococcus aureus. Nearly one-third of the population carries this bacteria without any
symptoms, but when staph infections do occur, they can become severe if
left untreated. When staph manifests, it’s usually in the form of
a skin infection. One particular strain, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (or MRSA), can cause exceptional concern because it is highly resistant
pneumoniae. Klebsiella is another type of bacteria most of us carry—in our
digestive tracts, where they are harmless to us. Outside our guts, however,
klebsiella is both antibiotic resistant and potentially dangerous, causing
a number of possible ailments including urinary tract infections and pneumonia.
Newborns are among the most susceptible to this bacterium.
If you or a loved one has contracted an illness due to negligence or malpractice, our
Washington D.C. medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help. Call our offices to learn more.