China reports first cases of South Asian superbug

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Indy Lifestyle Online

China said Tuesday it had detected the nation's first three cases of a multi-drug resistant superbug that surfaced in South Asia and has triggered a global health alert, state media reported.

The nation's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said that bacteria carrying the NDM-1 gene were found in samples taken from two babies born in March in the northern region of Ningxia, the official Xinhua news agency said.

New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 was also discovered in another sample taken from an 83-year-old man in the southeastern province of Fujian who died of lung cancer in June, the report quoted Ni Daxin, an official at the CDC, as saying.

The two babies have since recovered and are healthy, and the role of the drug-resistant superbug in the man's death is still unclear, the report added.

NDM-1 has caused global concern, and the World Health Organization has urged health authorities around the world to monitor the superbug, which was first identified last year in a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in India.

It has since spread to Europe, and a Belgian man became the first reported fatality in August after he was infected by the bacteria in hospital in Pakistan where he was being treated for a leg injury following a car accident.

He was repatriated to Belgium but died despite being administered colistin, a powerful antibiotic.