New research published this week in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet has disclosed the presence of super bacterium NDM-1 in the drinking and ground water in Delhi, India. NDM-1 resists treatment by the most powerful antibiotics available and could spark a worldwide spread of untreatable infections. NDM-1 has already been carried from India to Europe by “medical tourists” who contracted the infection during a hospital stay.
Upon learning this news, the World Health Organization (WHO) sounded an alarm asking medical researchers around the globe to take up an urgent collective effort to combat NDM-1. The WHO is particularly concerned because
- The population density of India suggests that millions of people may already be carriers
- The NDM-1 gene has spread to bacteria that cause dysentery and cholera, which are easily passed among humans who drink sewage-contaminated water
- 650 million people in India do not have access to toilets served by sewers
WHO Regional Director Zsuzsanna Jakab said “Given the growth of travel and trade in Europe and across the world, people should be aware that until all countries tackle this, no country alone can be safe.”
Photo by SAsqrd.