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South Asian superbug kills one in Belgium

media New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) Video / euronews

A Belgian doctor reports that a patient died from the drug-resistant superbug NDM-1 in a Brussels hospital in June, the first reported death from the bacteria.

The victim was infected by the bacteria while being treated in a hospital in Pakistan, Denis Piérard, a microbiologist from AZ VUB hospital in Brussels told Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

"He was involved in a car accident during a trip to Pakistan. He was hospitalised with a major leg injury and then repatriated to Belgium, but he was already infected," said the doctor.

Despite being administered colistin, a powerful antibiotic, the patient died.

Microbiologist Youri Glupczynski says two patients were infected with NDM-1 in Belgium in 2010, during an interview with Belgium’s news network RTBF.

However, Belgian hospitals say they are not going to introduce any special measures to protect patients against the new disease.

The superbug, a bacterial gene called New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1), was first identified last year in a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in India.

Indian doctors warned earlier this year that a superbug could develop and warned health tourists coming into the country that they could pick up the bug and take it abroad, it has now been revealed.

The Indian health ministry objected to the name and accused the British medical journal The Lancet of scaremongering in its reporting of the disease. Some politicians claimed that the study is an attempt to scupper the country’s booming health tourism industry.



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