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Potentially Fatal Superbug Hits EnglandTerrence Aym Salem-News.com
“Much of modern medicine depends on the ability to treat infection. If that ability is lost, medicine will take a great step backwards” - Dr. David Livermore, Director, HPA’s resistance monitoring lab
(CHICAGO) - Back in 1987 Dr. Robin Cook wrote the medical thriller "Outbreak." The best-selling novel focused on a team of brilliant medical researchers desperately racing against time to stop a deadly virus from spreading across the United States and potentially killing millions.
Once again fiction becomes reality as England faces its own potentially deadly outbreak with the looming possibility that a superbug from India could bring mass fatalities and spread like wildfire across an unprotected population.
According to the British Health Protection Agency (HPA), a virulent super-bacteria called NDM-1 has invaded the island nation from the Indian sub-continent and Pakistan.
Concerned health professionals have found the bacteria cropping up in hospitals across the country.
Bacteriologists are now burning the midnight oil in a desperate attempt to get a handle on a disease that has the ability to kill thousands.
Superbugs—of which the NDM-1 bacteria is one—are resistant to all forms of treatment including carbapenem antibiotics that are normally used in a last ditch attempt to kill bacteria that is killing a patient.
Without the ability to kill the bacteria using any form of antibiotics the British people are completely exposed to a killer that attacks with impunity.
Authorities are growing increasingly worried. They know that those who catch the NDM-1 bug are very likely to die.
England is already battling rapidly mutating strains of the H1N1 swine flu virus. Now with the possible outbreak of the potentially fatal NDM-1 super-bacteria it's expected a huge burden will be placed on an already frantic health community.
The mutating H1N1 virus has caused a steep spike in deaths across the UK's hospitals the past several months. Doctors have been working overtime to contain that outbreak as it spreads from Australia, New Zealand, some Western European countries, and Scandinavia.
Reports surfacing the middle of January 2011 indicate a new form of the H1N1 virus has also been discovered in the United States.
The director of the HPA’s resistance monitoring lab, Dr. David Livermore, stated “This is a major public health concern. Infections have varied from mild to potentially life threatening or fatal."
During a subdued and rather grim press conference medical authorities attempted to play down the seriousness of the potential outbreak. No one wants to ignite a general panic amongst the populace.
But Livermore admitted that “Much of modern medicine depends on the ability to treat infection. If that ability is lost, medicine will take a great step backwards.”
Originally published by helium.com
___________________________Terrence Aym is a Salem-News.com Contributor based in Chicago, who is well known nationally for his stirring reports on the top ranked site, helium.com. Born in Minnesota, Terrence Aym grew up in the Chicagoland suburbs. Having traveled to 40 of the 50 states and lived in 7 of them, Aym is no stranger to travel. He's also spent time in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Western Africa. An executive for many years with Wall Street broker-dealer firms, Aym has also had a life-long interest in science, technology, the arts, philosophy and history. If it's still possible to be a 'Renaissance man' in the 21st Century, Aym is working hard to be one.
Aym has several book projects in the works. Media sites that have recently featured Aym, and/or discussed his articles, include ABC News, TIME Magazine, Business Insider, Crunchgear.com, Discover, Dvice, Benzinga and more recently, his work has been showing up in South Africa and Russia.
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