August 17, 2010

New Super Bug Claims its First Victim

Filed under: health — Tags: , , , , , , — drwatson @ 5:53 pm

Super BugA Belgian man has become the first to die from the new super-bug NDM-1. The super-bug, New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1, is named after the capital city of India, where it is believed to have originated from.

While the Indian health ministry disagrees that the bug originated in India, there is evidence that strongly suggests that India is indeed the birth place of this super-bug. However, the bug itself actually allows the host bacterium to become resistant to antibiotics and does not actually create a disease itself.

So far, India and Pakistan appear to be the worst hit by NDM-1, but more cases are being found all over the world. There are reported cases as far away Sweden, Canada, and the United States. There are between 30-50 reported cases of NDM-1 in United Kingdom hospitals, but most of these people received medical treatment in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh.

Indian politicians have called the link of the new super-bug to India, “malicious propaganda,” as they fear their medical tourism, which has been quite successful lately, may suffer as a result of this bug. However, many reports are showing multiple cases of NDM-1 in various hospitals throughout India. Some Indian doctor’s are not surprised by this either, as they are aware of the misuse of antibiotics that has occurred in India.

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