CDC Reports “Nightmare Bacteria” Spreading

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recently reported the spread of what they are calling a “nightmare bacteria” across 27 states with more than 220 reported cases so far! As reported by the Scientific American magazine, the CDC has long been warning of the dangers related to antibiotic resistant bacteria, but this recent “nightmare bacteria” strain is “virtually untreatable” and capable of spreading genes that make them “impervious” to most antibiotics. The CDC’s principal deputy director, Dr. Anne Schuchat, said that up to 50 percent of the resulting infections are fatal! This bacteria is especially deadly for the elderly and individuals with chronic illnesses. Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the John Hopkins University Center for Health Security, told Scientific American that the “unusual” genes discussed in the CDC report were truly the “worst of the worst.” Dr. Adalja said, “There are certain bacterial genes that are more worrisome than others, that are much harder to treat. These genes are lurking in American patients and they are spreading in hospitals and health care facilities.”

Difficult to Contain Bacteria

The CDC has also reported that approximately 2 million Americans get sick from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year and over 23,000 die after contracting antibiotic resistant bacteria! As reported by Live Science, doctors commonly say that the spread of the “nightmare bacteria” and other antibiotic-resistant germs is like a “wildfire … difficult to contain once it spreads widely.” Therefore, doctors want to “extinguish the spark” of this nightmare bacteria before any new or unusual types of these bacteria or germs have a chance to spread. "We need to do more, and we need to do it faster and earlier with each new antibiotic-resistance threat," Dr. Schuchat said. Even more frightening is that such bacteria sometimes mutate when they are introduced to antibiotics making the germs even more difficult to wipe out. Researchers are aggressively striving to get the upper hand on the germs through identification, tracking and containment efforts by setting up an Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network across the country. Dr. Schuchat said, “CDC estimates show that even if only 20% effective, the containment strategy can reduce the number of nightmare bacteria cases by 76% over three years in one area.”

Relevant Bible Passages

Interestingly, while the Bible does not specifically mention bacteria, the Greek terminology used in Luke 21:7-11 – when Jesus predicted that there will be “pestilences in various places” – is also used in Greek literature to reference diseases. By implication this could also reference viruses and bacteria that create disease. Also in Luke’s Gospel Jesus warns that the nations of the world  will be perplexed as they realize they do not have any solution - or cure – for the diseases they are encountering (Luke 21:25). Likewise, the pestilence brought by the 4th horseman of the apocalypse (Revelation 6:8) could also be a reference to the type of bacterial diseases we see increasing. With this in mind we should be in earnest prayer for the doctors and scientists on the front lines of combating this “nightmare bacteria.”

PRAY: Pray the Lord would give our health care officials wisdom in identifying, treating, and containing the myriad new viruses and bacteria. Pray also for effective treatment for those that come into contact with this latest “nightmare bacteria.”