A superbug from India is currently kind of establishing itself in New Zealand. Can we actually prevent this from happening?
In 2015, in New Zealand a woman contracted the superbug, that’s called Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE for short). She was not the first one to get it, but she was the first one to catch it at her house, and not from hospitals or from an overseas trip.
The superbug doesn’t give you any kind of pain
Her CPE didn’t hurt, so she had no reason to think something might be wrong with her. However, she did get injured at some point, and she went to the hospital. She was there for 13 days without anyone noticing she had the bug. It’s worth mentioning that health authorities said that this was one of the most serious emerging infectious diseases. The reason why they’re considered so dangerous is that they produce an enzyme that destroys carbapenems. Carbapenems are some very powerful antibiotics that doctors give to patients as a last resort in order to save people that have resistant to drugs infections. It also destroys amoxicillin and many other antibiotics.
What are the meds that can go against this superbug?
The only meds left to treat these diseases are tigecycline and colistin, which was retired, then re-introduced because it was working against superbugs. It’s still an average med, which is the reason why it was taken off the market in the first place.
However, the mortality rate from the first CPE outbreak was of 40% in 2012, in Australia. And, to be honest, it’s just a matter of time until these superbugs will get resistant to colistin and tigecycline, too.
In 2016, in the US, a woman died after she was infected with CPE, that was resistant to 26 different meds, colistin included.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.