To avoid contamination of the superbug Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase, popularly known as KPC, which is a bacterium resistant to most of the existing antibiotics, it is essential to wash your hands well and avoid using antibiotics that were not prescribed by the doctor, since their indiscriminate use antibiotics can make bacteria stronger and more resistant.
The transmission of the KPC superbug occurs mainly in a hospital environment and can be through contact with secretions from infected patients or through the hands, for example. Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to have an infection with this bacterium, as well as patients who stay in the hospital for a long time, have catheters or make prolonged use of antibiotics. Learn how to identify KPC infection.
How to protect yourself from the KPC superbug
To protect yourself from the KPC superbug it is important to:
1. Wash your hands thoroughly
The main way to prevent contamination is to wash your hands with soap and water for 40 seconds to 1 minute, rubbing your hands together and washing well between your fingers. Then dry them with a disposable towel and disinfect them with gel alcohol.
As the superbug is very resistant, in addition to washing your hands after going to the bathroom and before meals, your hands should be washed:
- After sneezing, coughing or touching the nose;
- Go not hospital;
- Touching someone hospitalized for being infected by the bacteria;
- Touching objects or surfaces where the infected patient has been;
- Use public transport or go to the mall and have touched handrails, buttons or doors, for example.
If it is not possible to wash your hands, which can happen on public transport, they should be disinfected with alcohol as soon as possible to prevent transmission of the microorganism.
2. Only use antibiotics as directed by the doctor
Another way to avoid the superbug is to use antibacterial remedies only at the doctor’s recommendation and never at your own discretion, because the excessive use of antibiotics makes the bacteria stronger and stronger, and in serious situations they may not have an effect.
3. Do not share personal objects
To prevent infection, personal objects such as toothbrushes, cutlery, glasses or water bottles should not be shared, as the bacterium is also transmitted through contact with secretions, such as saliva.
4. Avoid going to the hospital
To avoid contamination, one should only go to the hospital, emergency room or pharmacy, if there is no other solution, but maintaining all safety measures to prevent transmission, such as washing hands and wearing gloves, for example. A good solution is before going to the hospital to call Dique Saúde, 136, for information on what to do.
The hospital and emergency room, for example, are places where there is a greater chance of the KPC bacteria being present, as it is frequented by patients who are carriers of it and may be infected.
If you are a health professional or family member of a patient who is infected with the bacterium, you should put on a mask, put on gloves and wear an apron, in addition to wearing long sleeves because, only in this way, prevention against the bacteria is possible.
5. Avoid public places
To reduce the risk of transmission of the bacteria, public places such as public transport and shopping malls should be avoided, as they are frequented by many people and there is a greater chance that someone is infected.
In addition, you should not directly touch public surfaces, such as handrails, counters, elevator buttons or door handles, by hand and, if you have to do so, you should immediately wash your hands with soap and water or disinfect your hands with alcohol in gel.
Generally, the bacterium affects people with poor health, such as those who have had surgery, patients with tubes and catheters, patients with chronic diseases, organ transplants or cancer, who are those with the weakest immune system and the risk of death is greater, however, any individual can be infected.