A new highly drug-resistant ?superbug? that causes acute ear infections in children is discovered. The ?superbug? is resistant to all antibiotics currently used to fight ear infections in children. Ear infections may cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
The superbug ear infection requires aggressive therapy, and tests showed that the bug can only be killed by an antibiotic approved for adults that had warnings on its label against use in children.
Even though the bug only appears in a small number of children there is concern that the bacterial ear infection could spread and cause other, more serious problems, such as permanent hearing loss.
"We need to alert doctors that the possibility exists for a superbug, and they need to look for it in their own communities" said Michael Pichichero, professor of microbiology, immunology and pediatrics at the University of Rochester, New York. He and his colleague Janet Casey discovered the superbug.
In Rochester, nine cases of children infected with the superbug have been recorded. In one case a girl was left with permanent hearing loss in both ears.
More than half of all children between 0 and3 years of age experience an acute inflammation of the middle ear. The ear infection is a bacterial infection that causes pain, fluid buildup and hearing loss in the worst cases.
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