Killer flu on our doorstep
A KILLER mega bug that does not discriminate between age, sex or race, is on its way here.
Far graver to human life than the swine flu, the strain of bacteria known as acinetobacter is resistant to all available antibiotics.
Queensland Health has given Brisbane infectious diseases specialist Professor David Paterson $2 million over five years to come up with ways of combating the bug.
“We’re frightened that there is the potential for these mega super bugs that antibiotics can’t fight to come here,” the professor who is based at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital says.
“They are most likely to arrive in Australia via travellers coming home after having been admitted to hospitals overseas.”
He says Australia has already been visited by bugs from the next tier down from the mega bug.
Acinetobacter can live on surfaces for weeks, even months – particularly if hospitals are not efficiently cleaned.
The mega bug is a water organism and preferentially colonises aquatic environments such as patients’ sputum or respiratory secretions, wounds, and urine.
Professor Paterson says that when we talked about the world ending from a nuclear explosion and only cockroaches surviving, we were wrong.
“What would survive are the bacteria.”