The further spread of the antibiotic resistant NDM-1 enzyme has been limited, health authorities and a Benoni hospital said on Thursday.
“It should be noted that the institution-based outbreak is contained through the effective measures implemented thus far,” they said in a joint statement.
New Delhi metallo-b-lactamase 1 (NDM-1) was detected in three people who died at a private hospital in Benoni. They had been admitted to the hospital for treatment for separate serious illnesses.
Four other patients were successfully treated after contracting NDM-1.
The condition of three other people at the hospital was “stable” on Thursday.
The statement was issued by the national health department, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Life Glynnwood Hospital in Benoni.
The emergence of the Klebsiella pneumoniae-producing NDM-1 enzyme was a matter of national concern, they said.
Before the Benoni cases were detected, an outpatient at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital was also confirmed to have the condition.
Information on the patient's health was not immediately available from the department and the NICD.
On Wednesday representatives of the national, provincial and district health departments met Glynnwood hospital management and representatives of Life Healthcare, which runs the health facility, to assess the situation.
The hospital was commended for the way it identified the NDM-1strain promptly and prevented it from spreading. Measures included screening around 400 people, isolating affected patients, strengthening infection control measures and commissioning an independent audit.
A co-ordinating outbreak response team was formed that would meet regularly to monitor and redirect response to the outbreak when needed. A monitoring system within public and private sector would also be set up.
A formal report would be compiled and sent to the minister of health, and lessons learned from the outbreak in Benoni, would be “of immense value to other hospitals”, the parties said in their statement.
NDM-1 was first identified in New Delhi, India, hence its name. Due to global travel, it has been detected in patients in public and private facilities around the world. It is named a “superbug” due to its resistance to antibiotics. – Sapa