WHO endorses Lancet report on superbug

WHO endorses Lancet report on superbug
New Delhi Just days after the Indian government rubbished a report in The Lancet Infectious Diseases study, that suggested that a superbug had evolved in India, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed the report.

In a statement, the WHO has cautioned governments to take hospital based infections seriously.

"An article published in The Lancet on 11 August 2010 identified a new gene that enables some types of bacteria to be highly resistant to almost all antibiotics. The article has drawn attention to the issue of AMR, and, in particular, has raised awareness of infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria," the statement says.

"While multi-drug resistant bacteria are not new and will continue to appear, this  development requires monitoring and further study to understand the extent and modes of transmission, and to define the most effective measures for control," it adds, adding, "The World Health Organization suggests that countries should be prepared to implement hospital infection control measures to limit the spread of multi-drug resistant strains and to reinforce national policy on prudent use of antibiotics, reducing the generation of antibiotic resistant bacteria."

WHO also recommended that that governments should focus control and prevention efforts in four main areas:

  • Surveillance for antimicrobial resistance;
  • Rational antibiotic use, including education of healthcare workers and the public in the appropriate use of antibiotics;
  • Introducing or enforcing legislation related to stopping the selling of antibiotics without prescription;
  • And strict adherence to infection prevention and control measures, including the use of hand-washing measures, particularly in healthcare facilities
Story First Published: August 20, 2010 23:26 IST

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