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Korea to strengthen monitoring of 2 drug-resistant bacteria

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Published : 2017-03-17 09:52
Updated : 2017-03-17 09:52

South Korean health authorities said Friday they will strengthen monitoring of two super bacteria -- the Vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae -- that are resistant to certain antibiotics.

The two will be designated as level-three infectious diseases starting in June, said the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The ministry divides infectious diseases into five levels in terms of how dangerous they are and how quickly they can spread.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said on March 17 it will designate two super bacteria -- the Vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae -- that are resistant to certain antibiotics as level-three diseases. (Yonhap)

The ministry had so far ordered 115 major hospitals to monitor and notify the health authorities of suspicious cases of six kinds of antibiotics-resistant threats, including the two super bacteria.

Under the new and revised measure, all hospitals and clinics across the country must notify cases of the two super bacteria, in an effort to better counter the possible spread of the infectious diseases.

The ministry said more than 80,000 people are infected with super bacteria annually that are resistant to antibiotics due to the overuse and misuse of drugs.

VRSA, which has also been cited for causing bacteremia, osteomyelitis and certain types of skin disease, leads to pneumonia and in severe cases death of the patient. CRE is a bacteria that is resistant to the carbapenem class of antibiotics that are considered the last resort for such infections. CRE tends to spread in hospitals and long-term care facilities. (Yonhap)