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Abuse of antibiotics: Cause of bacteria

Abuse of antibiotics: Cause of bacteria
0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, October 28, 2010
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Chinese health officials confirm the country has seen its first three infection cases of NDM-1, a multi-drug-resistant strain of bacteria. With stepped up surveillance, medical experts say more cases could be found. They also warn the widespread abuse of antibiotics is making people more prone to the superbug.

Scientists from the Academy of Military Medical Sciences detected the NDM-1 bacteria from a sample taken from an 83-year-old cancer patient in China's Fujian province. The Academy's Institute of Disease Control and Prevention is one of China's 14 monitoring centers of disease sources.

Huang Liuyu, Director of the Institute says more infection cases are likely to be found in the country.

Huang Liuyu, Director of Inst. of Disease Control & Prevention, said, "Based on my judgment, more infections of NDM-1 bacteria could be found as surveillance is strengthened and techniques improved. This could just be a start."

But medical experts says there's no need to panic. NDM-1 infection usually occurs in clinical facilities and tends to target people with a compromised immunity system. And currently the bacteria detected is has a relatively low chance of causing diseases.

Dr. Song Hongbin, Professor of Inst. of Disese Control & Prevention, said, "People don't have to panic. The NDM-1 bacteria does not spread between people and people. It increases drug-resistance. But the bacteria we found so far have a very low possibility of causing diseases."

Experts concede the widespread abuse of antibiotics constitutes a main factor of the emergence of the superbug bacteria. Many Chinese people are drawn to overusing antibiotics, especially since they are so readily available.

Dr. Han Li, Asso. Professor of Inst. of Disease Control & Prevention, said, "Medical staff should strictly supervise the use of antibiotics on patients. This will help avoid the emergence of more drug-resistant bacteria. But the reasonable use of antibiotics is a complicated issue in China, which requires attention from both doctors and patients."

Dr. Han says hospitals should also step up sterilization and infection-control measures to limit the spread of superbugs. The government should reinforce national policies on the prudent use of antibiotics. Meanwhile, education of the public is important.

Reporter Liu Ying said, "The emergence of the superbug bacteria sounds a warning to many Chinese who have the misconception that antibiotics are a cure-all to almost all diseases. Experts suggest the public should be more aware of the negative effects of anti-biotics and avoid overuse."


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