S. Korea reports first two cases of "superbug"

12/09/2010 19:51

From xinhuanet

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's health ministry on Thursday reported the nation's first two cases of multi-drug resistant bacteria "superbug", a bacteria carrying the New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) gene.

Two people, one male in his 50s and one female in her 70s, have been confirmed contracted with NDM-1 at a hospital in the capital area.

The two patients, who had not been abroad recently, have been treated each for lung disease and diabetes for a long period of time in the same hospital, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, two other patients at the same hospital were also suspected to have infected the NDM-1 and are under close examination, the ministry added.

The ministry said the NDM-1 usually affects patients who are being treated in intensive care units for a long period of time or whose immune systems have been significantly weakened. However the ministry said there is nearly no possibility that healthy people will be infected with it in their daily activities.

The health authorities also said they are still making efforts to find out how the two patients got infected with the bacteria.

NDM-1 was first found in India in 2008. It is most prevalent in South Asia, but has also been found in Britain, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the United States and Sweden.

Due to its multi-drug resistant characteristic, it is also dubbed the superbug.

South Korea listed NDM-1 as a communicable disease in October.


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