‘Don’t panic over superbug report’


SANDAKAN: Malaysians should not unduly panic following the report that a superbug resistant to antibiotics was detected in a 24-year-old woman, the first known case in Malaysia, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow said the patient was the sole carrier of a superbug and that she had already recovered after receiving treatment at a hospital.

“We have extracted the bacteria from her body and there was no transmission to either the health workers or other patients,” he told reporters after launching a health carnival at the Karamunting rural clinic here yesterday.

The superbug, known scientifically as the NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1) is according to the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention an enzyme that destroys many commonly used antibiotics, rendering them ineffective.

Following the detection of the first case, Liow said all hospitals and clinic had been ordered to strictly follow set guidelines when giving out antibiotics as the bug is immune to the drugs and will evolve.

Identified in India and Pakistan, it had reportedly caused the death of a Belgian man and infected several people from Britain, Australia and the  United States, who had travelled to the two countries for surgery.

The Belgian was reportedly infected by the bacteria after being hospitalised in Pakistan for a leg injury suffered in a car accident.

On another developments, Liow also announced that a new mobile clinic would made available in Sandakan while the Karamunting Rural Clinic would be upgraded.

Apart from that, the Health Ministry would also will be looking into requests for more specialists to be stationed at Sandakan’s Duchess of Kent Hospital, he added. — Bernama