Powerful 'superbug' found on Irish beaches due to untreated human sewage

The location of the beaches was not revealed but believed to be in Galway © File Photo Christine Matthews
The location of the beaches was not revealed but believed to be in Galway © File Photo Christine Matthews

Researchers from Galway claim to have discovered the presence of a powerful superbug on two adjacent Irish beaches.

The Irish Examiner reports that medical researchers believe they've discovered the NDM enzyme, a so-called 'superbug' that can be resistant the strongest antibiotics.

It is the first reported discovery in bathing waters in Europe. 

Lead researcher Professor Martin Cormican of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine and University Hospital Galway said: "We have known for more than 100 years that a proper control of sewage is a foundation stone for the protection of public health.

"But in 2017 we are still allowing sewage to flow into the sea and rivers because we have not organised ourselves to build the treatment systems we need."

The location of the contaminated beaches was not revealed but the Irish Examiner believes that they are in Galway and an outflow of untreated human sewage is the likely source.

The report concluded with researchers saying that there was no evidence anyone had been infected by exposure to the bacteria on any of the beaches.

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