The American newspaper The New York Times has raised concern about the health situation in Yemen, from a “supernatural” bacterial infection with which drugs and antibiotics fail to cure. The infection was present in the 19th century, such as cholera and diphtheria, War-torn countries.
The newspaper said in a report that it was noticed two days after the removal of a young Yemeni from surgery, doctors noticed the smell for the first time.
A bullet hit the leg of a 22-year-old university student, causing bone damage and rupture of soft tissue. The procedure was performed, but two days later the wound emitted a distinctive smell, described in the medical literature as “contagious”.
The condition, described as an “infection” that may be life-threatening, was treated as the wound did not improve. After doctors realized that natural antibiotics were not working, doctors at the MSF in Aden sent a sample of blood for analysis at MSF’s microbiology laboratory.
The center opened only last year, the only one of its kind in the region that has high-quality equipment that can detect the resistant infection of many drugs. The result was Gram-negative bacteria, Acinetobacter baumanni, which was resistant to most standard antibiotics.
No one knows how the student, known as AS, has acquired the infection, “but it is very common in Yemen to happen because it could be from the bullet itself or from sand on the ground when it fell,” said Dr. Naji Mansour, head of doctors In the program for the control of antibiotics to MSF.
MSF doctors have started a program of specialized antibiotics that are not usually used because of their potential side effects. It also requires several surgeries: seven multiple surgeries.
What could normally have been a five-day stay was three weeks, during which AS was isolated to prevent him from infecting other patients. When his family came to visit him, they could not touch him without wearing protective clothing.
SS managed to survive. “We saved the patient from the mouth of death,” Mansour said. Most of Yemen’s hospitals did not have the capacity or protocols to detect and treat drug-resistant infections; if he were anywhere else, he would have lost his leg or died.
The Saudi-led military campaign has left thousands of victims and created huge numbers of refugees, but the real cost may not become apparent for years to come.
After years of bombing that paralyzed food supplies, destroyed basic infrastructure and crippled medical care, Yemen became fertile ground for antibiotic-resistant “infection”, with potentially catastrophic consequences – not only within Yemen. So far, the threat posed by bacteria produced by drug-resistant diseases has been a theoretical threat. A handful of isolated cases have caused great concern among doctors and scientists of what could happen if infection is out of control. .