Superbug OUTBREAK warning: UK facing 'GROWING THREAT' from antibiotic-resistant viruses

Superbug OUTBREAK warning: UK facing 'GROWING THREAT' from antibiotic-resistant viruses

Originally published on Daily Star

There is a huge lack of awareness of the danger of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Scottish hospitals, the study found.

More than 30% of nurses questioned in the nationwide survey by Glasgow Caledonian University were unaware of the growing risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria CPE.

In the survey, 450 nursing staff and 261 members of the public were asked what they knew about CPE and the acceptability of rectal swabs.

Almost 30% of those questioned thought taking rectal swabs — the best screening method — was unacceptable.

Lead study author Professor Kay Currie said: "CPE is a growing threat to our healthcare system and we really want to try to stop it becoming endemic in our hospitals because it's extremely difficult to treat and get rid of once it takes hold."

These bacteria live harmlessly in the gut for healthy people, but can be extremely dangerous if they get into the bloodstream, urine, or wounds and causes infections.

Less than half of nurses questioned said they didn't know their hospital's action plan in the event of a CPE screening and didn't think it was a priority.

Almost 70% of nurses responding to the survey thought members of the public would be too embarrassed to have a rectal swab.

More than 80% of the public said they knew about the growing problem of drug-resistant bacteria, but less than a quarter had heard of CPE.

Professor Jacqui Reilly from Health Protection Scotland said: "Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to our healthcare system.

"Early identification of those patients coming into hospitals who may be at risk of getting an infection, such as one caused by CPE, is critical to stopping the onward transmission of these infections to other patients."

A Scottish Government spokesman added: "Findings from this research have informed the infection prevention work within the Chief Nursing Officer's 'Excellence in Care' approach."

Although superbug rates are still relatively low in the UK, they are a massive issue in developing parts of the world.

In November, Daily Star Online reported superbugs could kill 2.4 million people worldwide as they become more resistant to antibiotics.

More than 90,000 Brits could be among the victims of these diseases over the next 30 years, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Currently, there are 44,000 death from sepsis every year in the UK — many of which are due to antibiotic-resistant infections.

While a staggering one in 30 people carry the infection MRSA on their skin.

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Doc Talk: Dangers of drug-resistant bacteria

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