Indian Doctors Cautious over New Superbug


by NTDTelevision

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On Thursday, Indian doctors said that it was hard to prove that a new supervirus - a gene called NDM-1, could be attributed to medical tourism in the country alone.

So far, patients from South Asia, Britain and the U.S. have been affected by the bug.

[Dr. Kushagraha Katariya, CEO, Artemis Health Institute]: (English)
"It is very hard to say it is the medical tourists who have actually brought the bug from India or from Southeast Asia to the United Kingdom. That being said, it is a very important point all the same. Antibiotic policies, how antibiotics are used to control infections and the type of antibiosis given at a variety of different institutes is very, very important."

Some foreign patients receiving treatment at one hospital in Gurgaon are pleased with its general hygiene and cleanliness.

[Donatus Umemmuo, Patient from Nigeria]:
"The overall standard is high, the hygiene is perfect because in a day you always have cleaners coming out about four times or five times to clean, so hygiene is okay."

[Basim A Allah Hani, Patient from Iraq]: (male, Arabic)
"The hospital is very good. I only hope in future I can get some Iraqi food."

But scientists say the new superbug from India could spread around the world -- in part because of medical tourism -- with scientists saying there are almost no drugs to treat it.

U.S. health officials say there have been three cases so far in the United States -- all from patients who received recent medical care in India, a country where people often travel in search of affordable healthcare.

In a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal on Wednesday, it was found NDM-1 was becoming more common in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan and was also imported back to Britain in patients returning after treatment.

India is an emerging medical tourism destination, with modern hospitals and cities offering premium care at prices that are a fraction of those in the West.

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