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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Deadly bug hits South Africa

Article via Times Live :

" A drug-resistant "superbug" that has its origin in India is causing panic in Gauteng private and public hospitals.

The enzyme, called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) - which produces bacteria resistant to a broad range of drugs - is believed to have already contributed to the deaths of three patients at Life Glynnwood Hospital in Benoni.

It was also detected in an outpatient ward at Johannesburg's Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital early last month.

The patient who came into contact with it is now "fine", according to infection control expert and Wits Medical School Professor Adriano Duse.

"We think that this is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

People who have contracted the "highly transmissible" NDM-1 become resistant to most antibiotics, including penicillin.

It is not clear whether the deaths of the three patients at Life Glynnwood Hospital were directly caused by the superbug. However, Duse suspected that the NDM-1 could have contributed."

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