SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: South Korea confirmed on Thursday two cases of South Koreans infected with a bacterium resistant to most antibiotics, referred to as a “superbug”. The health ministry said the NDM-1 CRE (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase) was confirmed for the first time in South Korea.
“After the watchdog system checked samples, we found two positive cases and two suspicious cases,” Jun Byung-yool, an official of Seoul’s health ministry, told a news briefing.”The first investigation outcome of the two cases shows the patients have not travelled overseas. They have been hospitalised for a long period of time,” Jun added.
The ministry says both patients, a man in his 50s and a woman in her 70s, have been treated each for lung disease and diabetes in the same hospital. Seoul’s Yonhap News Agency quoted an official of the ministry as saying the NDM-1 CRE usually affects patients treated in intensive care units for a long period of time or whose immune systems have been significantly weakened.
The ministry official also said possibility was slim that people could be infected with it in their daily life. A scientist at the EU’s disease watchdog said in November some 77 cases of a multi-drug resistant “superbug” from India, first reported in Britain in August, have been detected in 13 European countries.
Dominique Monnet of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said he was very worried by the emergence of NDM-1, or New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, and other bugs like it that are resistant to even the most powerful class of antibiotics, known as carbapenems.-Reuters