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article imageSuper-bug NDM-1 keeps spreading yet without new fatalities

By R. C. Camphausen     Sep 15, 2010 in Health
The latest additions to the list of countries where the drug-resistant NDM-1 gene has been found are Japan and the United States, with many more countries now reportedly on active watch for what is popularly called a super-bug.
Up until now, the only fatality from being a carrier of NDM-1 was a man hospitalized in Belgium after coming from Pakistan. The recently infected person in Japan has been successfully treated, and it is now known that the so-called super-bug can be defeated by three specific antibiotics, while it is resistant to all others.
Apart from India, where NDM-1 is thought to have originated (ND stands for New Delhi), and the neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh which have seen several cases each, the list of countries where the 'bug' has meanwhile been reported looks like this: Belgium, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. In the US, three cases have been discovered in as many states: California, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
All three have been treated and have survived the infection, writes the website Health and Wellness. Similar to the many cases found in the UK, the three infected persons in the US and the two Canadian ones were people who had previously received treatments in Indian hospitals. Although India has protested against the use of it's capital city in the name New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1, all evidence shows that the researchers who formulated the name have been correct in their conclusion.
Lab tests have shown that the only three antibiotics that can be used for treatment are tigecyline (Tygacil), colistin, and phosphomycin -- according to Johann Pitout, MD, of the University of Calgary in an article on MedPage Today. The website also reports that both Canadian cases have been successfully treated.
Both China and Taiwan have meanwhile instructed all hospitals to be on the lookout for NDM-1 infections, joining many other nations that have done so immediately after the report in the Lancet about the 37 cases detected in the United Kingdom.
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