UK Sees New Superbug, Blames Medical Tourism in India

It's traced to cheap cosmetic surgeries
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2010 6:19 PM CDT
UK Sees New Superbug, Blames Medical Tourism in India
Scientists are worried about a new superbug named NDM-1.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A new superbug has emerged in UK hospitals, probably brought back to the country by people who traveled to India or Pakistan for cosmetic surgery, the BBC reports. About 50 cases have been cataloged in the UK, but researchers fear the newly christened NDM-1 (named after New Delhi, notes the Times of India, which quotes Indian officials not at all happy about it) could evolve into a global heath problem. Scattered cases have been reported in the US, Canada, and Australia as well.

"The fear would be that it gets into a strain of bacteria that is very good at being transmitted between patients," and go global, says a doctor with the UK's Health Protection Agency. NDM-1 is especially scary to doctors because it confers resistance to the strongest-known group of antibiotics. The bad news comes along with good news on a related front: The CDC says the superbug known as MRSA appears to be retreating, reports the Washington Post.
(Read more antibiotics stories.)

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