South Korea's health authority said Sunday it has confirmed 63 patients have been infected with a super bacterial infection that cannot be easily treated by antibiotics, raising concerns over a possible contagion.
The number of patients infected with OXA-232-type carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE), also known as a super bacteria, came to 63 at 13 local hospitals as of Thursday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It marked the first time for this type of CPE to be detected in South Korea, the health agency said. Such super bacteria are known to be resistant to most antibiotics, which gives patients a limited chance for recovery.
The first infection detected in South Korea came from a patient who was injured in India and later relocated to local hospitals.
One of the local hospitals in which the initial victim was treated at was found to have three other patients with the bacteria.
The healthy control agency said it will make quarantine measures to prevent the further spread of the super bacteria, and tighten surveillance and related rules. It added it will also continue to keep an eye on the 13 hospitals until the number of patients stays flat for three months.