Superbugs

Reporter: Rodney Lohse

Katrina Day caught a cold.. within two days she was fighting for her life.. her husband Nick helpless.

"I still can't fathom or understand how it went from her walking around on Saturday afternoon to being putting into an induced coma Monday morning, after being told that she has the flu...that part I don't understand." Said Katrina

After being put into an induced coma and a month of fighting 39 year old Katrina died.. the ordinarily fit and healthy mother of four succumbed to an infection in her lungs.

"What I was told on that Wednesday when I went down, when they found it, it was staph A and she's being hit with double pneumonia." Said Katrian

Staphlycoccus is a common bacteria that lives on all of us particularly round our mouth and nose in controlled numbers.. but out of control it makes us sick.. in our food in sufficient numbers it can give us food poisoning.. most often it can be killed with anti biotics but that is changing and mutated versions are becoming unstoppable stone cold killers.. like the one that killed Katrina Day

"The surgeons there and the specialists and the head of ICU up at Prince Charles..?.. said it's the worst he's ever seen as his time as what he does." Said Katrina

Katrina's lungs were that severely damaged, he had never seen anything like that.

"If we don't have antibiotics that work which is increasingly the case we will go to the 1920s before antibiotics were around and you just have to survive by yourself your own immune system." Said Dr Collignon

Dr Peter collignon is a microbiologist and expert in infectious diseases.

"We need to be worried because a lot of us have bacterial infections menengitis, phenmonia and we can treat that with antibiotics but if it is a superbug they don't work." Said Peter Collignon

As more virilant strains of super bugs are discovered.. the most common staphylococcus aureus or golden staph is still being found in the very places that are supposed to help our hospitals.

In the year 2010- 2011 there were 1873 reported cases of staphlyloccus aureus in australian hospitals.. And now reports a deadly superbug that's swept through europe and north america is killing people here.

Microbiologist professor Thomas riley says the particular strainclostridium difficile kills as many as 30 percent of people who contract it .. The super commonly spread in hospital

But worse some of these resistant bacteria are now appearing in beauticians.. nails salons.. and places where hygiene isn't as stringent.

"It was like someone had put me in the son let me roast with a bit of oil on me pulled me out and slapped my back lying in bed ridiculously painful." Said Mitchell Crips

This university student caught a golden staph infection getting his back waxed his doctor recognised it immediately.

"As soon as I turned around he said mate you've got Golden Staph we need to put you on antibiotics straight away.." Said Mitchell Crips

Kathryn swallows has been fighting a golden staph infection on her legs for almost 2 years

"You think it is just a normal something you pick up just get on their clean it up.. doesn't work that way." Said Kathryn

We'll only show you sanitised images of her legs because they're so graphic.

"My legs went purple and they were horrible and disgusting.." Said Kathryn

Kathryn picked up the infection from flood waters while helping a friend during the queensland floods... Expert believe we may only have 10 years left of effective treatment of bacterial infections with anti biotics before we are overrun by anti biotic resistant strains.. It's why their is now a public hand washing campaign being advertised

For Nick Day and his four children they'll never understand how Katrina contracted the infection in her lungs but they want others to know these killer bugs are here now and taking lives.

Contact details

Nick Day has set up the Katrina Day Family Appeal to help take care of his kids and to raise money to buy life-saving equipment for Queensland hospitals.

His wife was kept alive on a heart-lung bypass machine before losing her fight for life.

Donations can be made at the Bank of Queensland - BSB: 124 161, Account Number: 218 622 95.