Superbugs in your home

Not long ago, just about the only way to land a potentially deadly infection with MRSA was to visit a hospital or some other care facility.

Oodles of bacteria, overuse of antibiotics and -- let's face it -- not exactly the best sanitary conditions combined to turn hospitals into the perfect breeding ground for superbugs.

But now, the bug has left the building -- MRSA is on the loose, and it may even be lingering in your home right now.

New research finds that U.S. homes are now "major reservoirs" of USA300, the leading MRSA strain behind community-acquired infections. In many cases, the germs are brought in by someone already sick such as an infected person living there, or someone just back from the hospital.

That means, of course, that if someone in your home is diagnosed with MRSA, it's time to break out the bleach and start scrubbing.

But if you haven't been around someone suffering from an infection or haven't been to the hospital, don't let your guard down.

People can carry MRSA without getting sick from it. In fact, you or someone in your home could have it right now without even realizing it.

Like many bacteria, MRSA is a first-degree opportunist, biding its time until it has a chance to strike -- such as when your immune system is compromised with another illness, or if you take an antibiotic that wipes out the good bacteria that would normally help keep MRSA in check.

That's why it's not a bad idea to give your home a good scrubbing on a regular basis even if everyone is healthy. Along with reducing the risk of MRSA, you could also scrub away other bacteria as well as potential allergens.

Don't stop there, either.

There are two other steps you need to take today.

First, think twice before taking antibiotics. There are times when the drugs are necessary, but just as often they're not -- which is why it's important to work with a holistic medical doctor willing to try natural remedies first.

And second, arm your gut with the good bacteria that can help fight MRSA and other superbugs. That means eating more healthy natural yogurts (not the sugar "fruit on the bottom" junk in your supermarket), and taking a quality probiotic supplement every day.

I recommend one with multiple strains of human-tested bacteria, and something with billions of colony-forming units (or CFUs).