Superbug Gene Found in New Delhi Water

Researchers have found the superbug gene in New Delhi’s drinking water supply and in street puddles. This gene can turn numerous bacteria types into dangerous superbugs. It has been named NDM-1 after New Delhi.

Bacteria contaminated by this gene can be treated only with a few expensive and toxic antibiotics. The superbug was first discovered in 2008. Since then, it has been detected in many countries including Sweden, Canada, Britain, Australia and the U.S.

Most people who had suffered superbug infections had traveled to Bangladesh, Pakistan or India for medical treatment. However, Indian officials played down the furore saying it is a tactic to dampen India’s booming medical tourism industry. They cited a study of about 2,000 women conducted in New Delhi which did not reveal any sign of the superbug in them.

Health experts compare this superbug scare to the HIV scare of the 1980s. They recommend further studies to assess the actual international threat of the superbug.

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