YOGYAKARTA (JP): It once happened that all the babies in a ward in a famous Yogyakarta hospital were struck by diarrhea. At first the hospital thought the cases were attributable to the garbage dump, but after a more thorough study, it was discovered that source of the attack was to be found in insufficiently sterilized baby bottles.
The case above, just like thousands others of the same nature, is known in medical circles as a nosocomial infection (from the Greek nosocomium meaning hospital). A nosocomial infection, then, is one that originates or takes place in a hospital.
"In hospital there are a lot of bacterium that are resistant to antibiotics," said Dr. Ristanto S. of Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, and also a core member of the Indonesian Association of Clinical Microbiologists (PAMKI).
According to him, nosocomial infections are not a new threat, particularly to inpatients. Their danger has been known of since the late 18th century, when viruses, …