No cause for panic over superbug - official

2011-11-03 19:56

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - There is no cause for panic over the recent outbreak of superbug NDM-1, the National Health Laboratory Services said on Thursday.

"Certainly there is no cause to panic," said clinical microbiology and infectious diseases department head Adrian Duse.

Duse, who is affiliated to Wits University, said New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) producing bacteria, did not pose a threat to the general public, even those who had contracted HIV.

"There is no data to suggest that HIV positive patients are any more likely to fall sick."

NDM-1 is an antibiotic-resistant enzyme produced by specific bacteria.

Of the 10 patients who tested positive for NDM-1 at Life Glynnwood Hospital in Benoni, four have died - the last on Saturday.

It could not be determined, however, to what extent NDM-1 contributed to these deaths, as each of the patients were seriously ill with other medical conditions.

Four patients had been discharged, while two remained in isolation at the Life Glynnwood Hospital.

Hospital spokesperson Marietjie Shelly said high-risk patients would continue to be screened so that the hospital could treat patients in isolation to prevent its spread.

NDM-1 was first identified in New Delhi, India.

Due to global travel it has been detected in patients in public and private facilities around the world.

It has been named a "superbug" because of its resistance to antibiotics.

- SAPA

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  hiv aids  |  health  |  superbugs

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