Archive for Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Agency: Drug-resistant TB is spreading faster

February 27, 2008


— Drug-resistant tuberculosis is spreading even faster than medical experts had feared, the World Health Organization warned in report issued Tuesday.

The rate of TB patients infected with the drug-resistant strain topped 20 percent in some countries, the highest ever recorded, the U.N. agency said.

"Ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable to see rates like this," said Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of WHO's "Stop TB" department. "This demonstrates what happens when you keep making mistakes in TB treatment."

Though the report is the largest survey of drug-resistant TB, based on information collected between 2002 and 2006, there are still major gaps: Data were only available from about half of the world's countries.


moo 10 years, 2 months ago

Or just healthcare access that actually encourages poor, working people to complete their antibiotic regimes. Under the system currently in place in most countries poor people with TB cannot afford the complete regime or the time away from work to visit clinics. This is what creates and breeds drug-resistant strains.

But no, you're right, lets build a magical, germ-resistant wall and keep out all those diseased immigrants since no one in this country has TB!

moo 10 years, 2 months ago

Why do we have to look at this in such a narrow way? Of course keeping sick people out of the country will reduce the number of sick the US, that is. However, those people will still be ill, perhaps in a country where they are less likely to get and take an entire course of antibiotics. Then through legal or illegal means these resistant straints will enter our country. Now I'm not suggesting the US go out and find every TB patient, and bring them to the country and put them in a free treatment program (although that'd take care of it, most likely). I am simply saying that this is a global problem and requires a comprehensive, global solution that addresses the causes of these health disparities. Just keepin' those "lousy, sicky, furiners" out won't do the global problem any good, and may in fact make it worse.

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