Chinese medical expert warns of outbreak of superbug

Zhong Nanshan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a medical tutor with the World Health Organization, said that China is among the world's most reckless antibiotics users with doctors routinely prescribing multiple doses to treat simple conditions such as fever, colds and sore throats.

To make matters worse, the country also depends on the massive use of antibiotics in its fishing and agricultural industries, leading to a tainted food chain, Zhong said.Chinese people consumed 10 times more antibiotics than their counterparts in the United States, but 20 per cent of that was not necessary, Zhong told West China City Daily.

The rampant over use has caused a frightening increase in drug-resistant bacteria, he said, adding this has put the country in great danger from a possible outbreak of the latest superbug to be discovered, which is resistant to all the most power drugs, including antibiotics.

Earlier, Chinese media reported about the controversy over Superbug following claims of some British medics that it originated in India and Pakistan and spread to other parts of the world.

The Ministry of Health said earlier the superbug hadn't been detected on the Chinese mainland so far.The way to fight it, however, experts say, is to reduce the use of antibiotics and make new medical breakthroughs.Prescription guidelines to restrict antibiotic use were issued by the Ministry of Health in 2004.China's State Food and Drug Administration also bans the sale of antibiotics without a prescription.However, some hospitals, driven by the profits to be made by selling drugs, are still keen to promote the use of antibiotics, the daily said.

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