Water samples taken from India's capital is positive for New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) "superbug" based on a study published in The Lancet on 7 April.
How did they find out?
Researchers from the UK's University of Cardiff collected water samples (creeks, drainage and public tap water) from various locations within a 12-kilometer radius of central New Delhi between 26 September and 10 October last year. They brought the samples to London to test for the presence of the superbug gene called blaNDM-1.
The results showed that two of the 50 drinking water samples and 51 of 171 creek and drainage water samples carry the superbug gene.
The superbug-containing germs were grown in some of the samples that include 11 species not reported before such as disease-causing bacteria Shigella boydii and Vibrio cholerae.
The study recommended more vigilant surveillance and highlighted its public health implications.
The researchers also said that not all Indians who are infected with the superbug that is known to be circulating in the community are hospitalized.
However, even before the British water collection took place in 2010, Indian doctors had warned of the threat of the multi-drug resistant bacteria.
A report by the AFP said that Mumbai researchers came into a similar conclusion with Cardiff’s and warned tourists they could be infected by the microorganism that is hard to cure and carry them worldwide.
Authorities in this South Asian country downplayed Lancet's report saying that water in India is safe to drink and follows government standards, in a report by the Times of India.
So what should the public do?
The people are advised to boil the water as a preventive measure according to Indian health officials.
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