10 Aug 2014

Superbug fight starts on West Coast

6:23 am on 10 August 2014

The fight against superbugs is being tackled on the West Coast with the introduction of new software to recognise and track any potential outbreaks.

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The World Health Organisation has warned of an increasing resistance to antibiotics in New Zealand. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The ICNet system is the first of its kind in Australasia, and could go a long way to reducing large-scale outbreaks of deadly infections such as MRSA.

A World Health Organisation report recently warned of an increasing resistance to antibiotics and drug-resistant superbugs in New Zealand.

The West Coast District Health Board's clinical nurse specialist in infections, Julie Ritchie, said the new software would replace a far less efficient paper system and would enable staff to track and manage infections, thereby reducing ward outbreaks.

She said knowing a person had contracted MRSA at a much earlier stage could prevent the spread of a potentially fatal disease.