Plagues and Pestilences

Europe ‘losing’ superbugs battle

BBC News reports: “Antibiotic-resistant infections have reached unprecedented levels and now outstrip our ability to fight them with existing drugs, European health experts are warning.

Each year in the EU over 25,000 people die of bacterial infections that are able to outsmart even the newest antibiotics.

The World Health Organization says the situation has reached a critical point.

A united push to make new drugs is urgently needed, it says.

Without a concerted effort, people could be dealing with the ‘nightmare scenario’ of a worldwide spread of untreatable infections, says the WHO.

One example is the New Delhi or NDM-1 superbug recently found in UK patients.

They brought the infection back with them from countries like India and Pakistan, which they had visited for medical treatment and cosmetic surgery.

These superbugs are resistant to carbapenem antibiotics, which is concerning for experts because they are some of our most powerful weapons and are used for hard-to-treat infections that evade other drugs…” (Pestilences – Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:7, 8. See also the next two reports.)

C.difficile inquiry finds superbug linked to 31 deaths

BBC News reports: “A £2m public inquiry into the outbreak of superbug C. difficile in northern trust hospitals has concluded that it was linked to 31 deaths.

The inquiry, chaired by Dame Deirdre Hine, found the superbug was the underlying cause in 15 deaths and a contributory cause in 16.

The report, which sets out 12 recommendations, is highly critical of some of the trust’s practices

It accepted that some of the practices in the trust had since changed.

The remit of the inquiry was not to apportion blame but to look at the experiences of those affected by the outbreak.

However it was particularly critical of the trust’s communication and described it as ‘inadequate.’

It also identified weaknesses in some of the management systems and said the panel failed to understand why some problems, including the isolation facilities in the A & E were not resolved more quickly.

The report recommended that where possible patients, should be nursed in single rooms and that patients who contract C. diff are told of the diagnosis.

The report also said that the traumatic experience of C. diff compounded by the failures in communication and care has for some families lasted well beyond the date when the outbreak was officially declared over…”

38 patients at risk of CJD after surgery in south Wales

BBC News reports: “Thirty eight patients may have been put at risk of contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) during surgery in south Wales, it has been revealed.

Letters have been sent after it was found someone who had an operation in an Abertawe Bro Morgannwg hospital in 2007 was at high risk.

The surgical instruments were then used in other operations but officials say transmission risk was ‘extremely low’.

The subsequent operations took place between 2007 and 2009.

Officials called it the first incident ‘of this magnitude’ in Wales.

Thirty seven of the patients are from mid and west Wales and one is from north Wales.

CJD is a rare fatal disease that causes degeneration of nervous tissues, for example in the brain and spinal cord.

Public Health Wales (PHW) said it did not have a single confirmed case of the rare disease and the only patient at high risk remained well…”