Govt admits presence of Superbug

New Delhi: For the first time, Delhi government today admitted to the presence of deadly superbug NDM1 in several leading city hospitals but down played the concerns over the infection, saying the situation was `not alarming`.

Amid rising concerns over prevalence of the virus, a high-level meeting was called by Delhi Health Minister A K Walia who directed all government run hospitals to take effective measures to contain the spread of the virus and rationalise usage of anti-biotics.

NDMI virus develops immunity in a patient to the use of antibiotics. A senior Health Department official said `a very low` prevalence of NDM1 infection has been found in tests conducted in ICUs of a number of hospitals like RML Hospital, Lady Harding Hospital, CNBC and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. However, Walia downplayed the threat of infection, saying "it was found in the range of 0.04 percent to 0.08 per cent, which cannot be stated as alarming."

Walia also directed all the government run hospitals to ensure rational use of anti-biotics and take effective measures to contain the virus. The Health Minister noted that NDM1 (New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactama) virus has been found in countries across the world including countries of South East Asia and Eastern Europe.

"We need to ensure rational use of antibiotics and restrict the use of the third and fourth generation antibiotics," Walia said adding the superbug has not been found in water and sewerage flow in Delhi.