Monday, 16 August 2010

Boats or Cosmetic Surgery.....which is the greater risk?

The superbug: NDM-1 is in Australia.

I know it's not very exciting news, but I wonder if we are ready for the worst-case scenarios that could eventuate if this antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria takes a permanent, widespread hold. The first reported death has been recorded and while this is not to say that others haven't succumbed already the potential for widespread loss of life is real.

As usual, we should expect weeks if not months of international blame game commentary but it is pointless to waste time and resources finding the origin, this resistant strain is here and now we have to do something. The reality may be that the origin of this antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria was a country with widespread antibiotic availability, or a country with poor regulatory frameworks, or a random bacterial mutation, or whatever - either way it is, as I said, pointless.

Air travel would thus seem to be the unfortunate harbinger of worse things than a few boats off the Australian coast. As can be seen, we have to also watch out for Canadians - in a light-hearted, non-offensive, kind of way of course.

Image credit: Filomena Scalise / Sphere: Related Content

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