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Ministry: No "Superbug" cases on mainland

08-19-2010 11:29 BJT

There have not been any cases of "Superbug," bacteria resistant to the most powerful antibiotics, reported in China's mainland, an expert with the Ministry of Health told the Beijing News on Wednesday.

In an article published last Wednesday in a British medical journal, "The Lancet," doctors reported finding a new gene, called NDM-1. The gene alters bacteria, making them resistant to nearly all known antibiotics. Scientists suspect that the gene was imported to the UK from India by health tourists and may become widespread in the world.

According to a report from the Beijing News, Xu Xiaoyuan, an A/H1N1 flu expert with the Ministry, denied any reports of Superbug cases in mainland after Wednesday's Superbug research conference held by the Ministry.

"The Superbug is different from the A/H1N1 epidemic, as it is just a kind of infection. It will not be infectious among the public, so don't be afraid of it." Xu said.

The report noted that there are some drugs to treat "Superbug" illnesses, and some patients in Hong Kong and Sweden have been reportedly cured.

"The Superbug, actually a sort of enzyme, was found in 2008. It has a strong resistance to drugs, but death reports have been rare." Zeng Guang, chief epidemic expert with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during an interview with the China Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday.

Liu Qiyong, a researcher with the CDC, told the newspaper that the overuse of antibiotics has lead to the creation of the Superbug and he provided some suggestions to handle these cases.

Liu believes that the best defense against the Superbug is strict standards enforced by the government to control the usage and sales of antibiotics.

He also stressed the importance of establishing a monitoring system for antibiotics and bacteria's resistance to drugs.

"It is vital to establish a continued monitoring system. If any drug-resistant bacteria surface, we need to limit the usage of the antibiotics. After some time, the resistance to drugs will disappear." Liu said.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CRI

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