by Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG (CBS) — An official with the Centers For Disease Control says there’s no reason for people to be overly concerned, right now, about the discovery in a Pennsylvania woman of a bug with a gene resistant to one of the world’s “last-resort” anti-bacterial drugs.
Pennsylvania and CDC officials updated reporters Tuesday afternoon.
The Pennsylvania woman is the first human in the country to be infected with bacteria containing a gene that makes it resistant to colistin, a so-called “last-resort” drug.
But on a conference call with reporters, Dr. Beth Bell of the Centers For Disease Control said individuals, at this point, need not fret too much about it.
“The risk to the public, at this point, is really pretty much minimal. There are things that people can do to protect themselves against resistant bacteria,” she said.
Those things include frequent hand washing and thorough food cooking. Bell acknowledges, however, that there is long-term concern that further genetic mutations could result in a bug resistant to all antibiotics.
Citing privacy laws, Bell and other officials could provide little information about the infected woman. They say they plan to beef up laboratory response to the situation.