BRASILIA – Four more people have died from the KPC bacteria in Brazil's capital, bringing the death toll so far this year to 22, health officials in Brasilia said Wednesday, adding that the situation has begun to be brought "under control."
The deaths have been caused by the Klebisiella Pneumoniae Carbapenemase (KPC) bacteria, which has demonstrated an extraordinary resistance to antibiotics and is suspected of developing in hospitals in the capital due to a lack of hygiene and other factors.
The tests performed on four people who died in the past two weeks showed that they were victims of KPC, raising the death toll from the bacteria to 22, the Federal District Health Secretariat said.
The number of known cases of people infected with KPC increased from 135 to 207 in the last 30 days, but the great majority of them have recovered and only 12 are hospitalized at this time.
KPC was identified in hospitals in Brasilia around the middle of the year, but since then cases have been cropping up in other parts of the country.
Up until last week, according to the latest report by the Health Ministry, 70 cases had been detected in Sao Paulo state, 12 in Minas Gerais, 18 in Paraiba, seven in Pernambuco, four in Goias and three each in Santa Catarina, Espiritu Santo and Bahia.
In the face of the bacteria's spread, the government has placed limitations on the sale of antibiotics, which since Oct. 21 may only be obtained by prescription.
The aim of the measure is to prevent people from self-medicating and to restrict the exaggerated and unwarranted consumption of antibiotics, since that helps increase the resistance of the bacteria to such medications. EFE