Health officials are warning about a “particularly concerning” antibiotic-resistant superbug they believe has been responsible for two deaths in Victoria in the last three years.
Hospitals have been advised to strictly enforce current standards on managing antibiotic-resistant bacteria and new interim guidelines have been put in place, particularly for patients who have recently received medical treatment overseas.
The new bug is a strain of CRE (carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae) known as KPC and is resistant to some of the most powerful antibiotics.
Fifty-seven people have been infected or colonised by the bacteria in Victoria since 2012, the majority of which were in a cluster at St Vincent’s Hospital.
Eighteen of those affected have died and health officials believe KPC was responsible for at least two of those deaths, Dr Finn Romanes, the state’s acting chief health officer said.
“It would be likely that quite a number of patients will have died because of, or through contribution from this infection. That’s why we’re taking this problem seriously,” he said.