Monday, July 29, 2013

Hong Kong: Rare Drug-resistant Superbug in Sheung Shui Pig slaughterhouse detected, Mortality Rate Humans: 40-70%

July 28, 2013
Excerpt, editing is mine:

A rare superbug detected in a slaughterhouse in Sheung Shui has never before been found among livestock in Hong Kong or Asia, a University of Hong Kong study has confirmed.
"It indicates that there may have been widespread use by some farmers of antibiotics to keep their pigs healthy," Ho Pak-leung said. "This is one explanation as to why [the Sheung Shui] pork contains the drug-resistant bug."
Humans can catch the superbug through eating uncooked pork or coming into contact with infected livestock, Ho said
The superbug, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium(VRE), was detected in one of 137 batches of pork samples collected in January at a slaughterhouse in Sheung Shui.

Genetic analysis confirmed the bug to be of the sequence type ST6, never before detected in any animal bred for consumption in Asia. Another strain of VRE, ST414, is more common in Hong Kong and causes several deaths a year during hospital outbreaks, Ho said.

VRE infections tend to occur in already debilitated patients, and usually break out within a contaminated institution, such as a hospital. Mortality rates for VRE infections have been calculated at between 40 and 70 per cent. It can be contracted and carried by a healthy person for years without any symptoms, only to attack when the carrier becomes sick or is injured.

Continued, complete article:

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