Just wonderful - a new strain of tuberculosis

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Just what we have to look forward to -- from Newsweek:
Worse Than SARS?
How mistakes in the treatment of TB resulted in a virulent and fatal new form of the disease.

You'd think the emergence of a fatal disease�especially one that can be spread without physical contact�would be a big story. Yet a threatening new form of tuberculosis called extremely drug-resistant TB, or XDR-TB, has garnered almost no attention. That could soon change, with a new publicity campaign in 50 cities worldwide, centered on a series of dramatic pictures by photographer James Nachtwey and an Internet campaign at xdrtb.org. As the campaign shows, TB is not just an affliction of an earlier era. It still infects millions of people, killing about 1 in 6 of them. In the 1990s, there emerged a scary new version called multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). And now there is XDR, which is even harder to treat.
And the reason for the development of this new resistant strain: (this is the transcript of an interview)
By contrast, the cure rate of normal TB is . . . ?
. . . . 95 percent. It's very curable. You use a cocktail of four drugs for two months, then two of these drugs for another four months. But in some places, doctors will use only one drug, contrary to the standard protocol. That single drug might kill 99.99 percent of TB bacilli [germs] in your body. You will feel better, because you have dramatically decreased the bacilli�but the one bacillus that survives keeps replicating, because it is not susceptible to the drug treatment. Two months later, the person starts deteriorating again, as the surviving bacillus creates a new, drug-resistant population.

So MDR and XDR are caused by poor treatment of the disease?
Also by misdiagnosis and the unwitting use of counterfeit drugs, so that patients are not treated effectively.
It's airborne and doesn't make you sick right away. The idiots who are not completing their treatment and the corrupt governments in the third-world hell-holes who aren't getting the medicines to their citizens should be shipped off to their own private island to rot in peace without passing it on to the rest of the population. The website mentioned is here: XDRTB.ORG - I am linking to the About page as the home page has an auto-start video that will clog bandwidth if you aren't prepared for it (not everybody has broadband...)

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 30, 2008 8:14 PM.

We're all gonna die - Malthusian "science" was the previous entry in this blog.

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