4th superbug death in Johannesburg

2011-11-01 09:08
Johannesburg - A fourth person died in a Benoni hospital after contracting the superbug New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1), according to a report on Tuesday.

The patient, who had been in the Life Glynwood Hospital for several weeks, died on Saturday, The Star newspaper reported.

NDM-1 is an enzyme which makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Ten patients at the hospital had been diagnosed with the enzyme, and four had been released from hospital after treatment. Two remained in isolation wards.

Life Glynwood Hospital spokesperson Marietjie Shelly said: "One of these patients has been treated in ICU since admission.

"The other patient was in ICU earlier, but the patient's condition has improved to the extent that intensive care is no longer required."

The last confirmed case of the superbug was on October 21.

She said strict precautions were being followed to prevent the spread of NDM-1.

In September, one confirmed case was reported at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Professor Adrian Duse, head of the outbreak response unit of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said it could not be determined to what extent NDM-1 had contributed to the four deaths, as each of these patients were seriously ill with other medical conditions.

Due to global travel, NDM-1 has been detected in patients in public and private facilities around the world. It is named a "superbug" due to its resistance to antibiotics.

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