Well, as they say in Hong Kong and Guangdong: "Wahh!" Via the South China Morning Post: One new superbug infection every 18 minutes in Hong Kong public hospitals. Excerpt:
Public hospitals reported a new case of superbug infection every 18 minutes last year, according to Hospital Authority figures.
And more than a tenth of the cases led to a blood infection that put patients at risk of developing life-threatening sepsis without prompt treatment.
The statistics show an overall 15 per cent increase in three major types of superbug infection from 2011.
They underline the threat from superbugs, which was branded a "global emergency" in a World Health Organisation report on Wednesday.
Hong Kong University microbiologist Dr Ho Pak-leung - who presented the figures at the Centre for Health Protection's annual hand hygiene campaign launch on Tuesday - said the alarming speed at which superbugs spread at public hospitals was a serious concern, particularly in view of the city's ageing population.
Last year, a total of 22,936 new patients were infected by one of the three major superbugs - extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRA) - up from 19,881 cases recorded in 2011. A superbug is a bacterium that has developed resistance to antibiotic drugs, rendering common treatments ineffective.
The reasons for the sharp rise in resistance are "complicated", Ho said. But he explained: "Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
"Because of overcrowding, organisms spread easily from people to people both in hospitals and in the community."