Skip to comments.US Immigrants Pose TB Threat
Posted on 10/22/2006 9:59:05 AM PDT by blam
U.S. immigrants pose TB threat
From coast to coast, more cases found raising fears of new drug-resistant strain
Posted: October 22, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON The worst forms of a drug-resistant killer tuberculosis bug, rapidly spreading throughout the world, have been gaining ground in the United States along with record legal and illegal immigration levels, alarming public-health officials over a disease once thought vanquished.
Although the number of confirmed drug-resistant TB cases in the U.S. is relatively small still measured in the dozens health officials say visitors from other countries are bringing in the deadliest mutations.
The only visitors to the U.S. who are screened for tuberculosis and other medical conditions are immigrants who enter the country legally. There is no easy way to screen millions of tourists and illegal migrant workers.
Worldwide, TB kills 2 million people a year, mostly in Africa and southeast Asia, but recently the European Union issued a warning that the threat there is considerable.
The drug-resistant TB recently killed more than 50 people in South Africa. It has been found in limited numbers in the U.S. 74 reported cases since 1993. The strain is nearly impossible to cure because it is immune to the best first- and second-line TB drugs. It is as easily transmitted through the air as the old TB.
There is another form of TB concerning U.S. health officials. It is called "multi-drug resistant." It responds to more treatments but can cost up to $250,000 and take two years to cure. This is the strain increasingly common throughout the world rising more than 50 percent from about 273,000 in 2000 to 425,000 in 2004, according to a study published in August in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
In the U.S., 128 people were found to have it in 2004, a 13 percent increase from the previous year.
The states with the highest numbers of multi-drug resistant cases in the last decade were New York, California, Texas and Florida, according to the CDC states with the highest populations of new immigrants.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs. TB is more common in urban areas. It is highly contagious and caused by bacteria. Many people infected with TB have no symptoms because it is dormant. Once it becomes active it may cause permanent damage to the lungs and other organs. TB is spread through the air by inhalation.
Over the last 30 days, TB has been discovered in dozens of states:
Last month, six employees who work inside Detroit's AT&T building tested positive. Investigations into the outbreak are ongoing. In Oklahoma City, hundreds of patients and hospital workers may have been exposed to tuberculosis by a health-care worker, and at least 10 people caught it. A letter sent to 1,650 patients and 350 workers at Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City warned of their potential exposure and urged them to get skin tests to determine whether they were infected.
In Alabama, 22 LeFlore Preparatory Academy students and faculty members tested positive for tuberculosis infection and are undergoing further examination to determine if they have an active case of the disease, Mobile County Health Department officials said last Monday. The people who tested positive were among 909 who elected to be screened after a student was diagnosed with the disease.
In Florida, public health and school officials said they had confirmed a case of tuberculosis at a Manatee County middle school. Seven months ago, it was announced that a school district employee whose job required visits to several campuses had active TB.
In Cincinnati, a student and teacher visiting a high school became infected.
In Connecticut, health officials are trying to figure out whether a University of Hartford student has tuberculosis.
In South Texas, a second group of students and staff at McAllen's Zavala Elementary School were forced to undergo skin tests today after a student was discovered carrying the contagious airborne disease. In Pennsylvania, hundreds of Upper Moreland High School students had to be tested after the Montgomery County Health Department notified parents in the district that a male student had become infected over the summer. In Mississippi, more than 10 percent of the 102 Meridian firefighters have tested positive for the tuberculosis antibody, but state health officials say there is little cause for concern.
In South Georgia, Mitchell County health officials are investigating a case of tuberculosis at a major chicken processing plant.
In California, more than 6,000 inmates at California State Prison-Solano are being tested for tuberculosis after two inmates were discovered with the disease.
In Wisconsin, nearly 100 students and staff may have come into contact with a West Allis day care employee infected with tuberculosis, health officials report. The employee, who had active TB, is being treated and is no longer at the center.
Canada has also been hit with the disease especially the Indian populations, but also increasingly among new immigrants from nations where the disease is endemic.
"With the shrinking of the global community with the transient nature of the world's population, TB has the potential to come to Canada time and time and time again," says Bob Dickson, a Calgary medical doctor and partner with RESULTS Canada, an NGO dedicated to fighting poverty and disease in the third world.
The World Health Organization reports that one-third of the globe's population is infected with the airborne bacteria that causes the disease.
The general symptoms of the disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. The symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain and coughing up blood. Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.
It is generally spread when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or talks to another person, but prolonged contact is usually needed. People most at risk of developing tuberculosis include children and older people, smokers, those living in overcrowded conditions, those who have a poor diet, the homeless and those who have a weakened immune system.
Antibiotics are used to treat the infection, but they must be taken for at least six months to be effective.
The occurrence of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis is also on the increase in Eastern Europe.
Health officials in Finland are particularly concerned because the multi-drug resistant form of tuberculosis has already found its way to Estonia and St. Petersburg.
About 450,000 people get infected with tuberculosis each year in the Europe region, including Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to Pierpaolo de Colombani, a tuberculosis control medical officer for the World Health Organization.
Nearly 70,000 of these contract strains of the easily-spread respiratory ailment that resist the two main tuberculosis drugs, raising the likelihood that the disease could lead to epidemics in Western Europe on the scale of that seen in the 1940s.
"The drug resistance that we are seeing now is without doubt the most alarming tuberculosis situation on the continent since World War Two," said Markku Niskala, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
"Our message to EU leaders is: wake up, do not delay, do not let this problem get further out of hand," Niskala said.
There were 8,000 cases of TB in the UK last year
A key part of body's defence against tuberculosis has been identified by an international team of scientists. The study in Science found cells in the body have a receptor on their surface which sends out a signal calling for immune system aid when TB is detected.
The researchers say the aim would be to mimic this rallying cry with a vaccine or immune system therapy to help fight the bacterium.
TB experts welcomed the growing attention being paid to the disease.
They said there were 8,000 people infected with TB in the UK last year, up 10% from 2004.
Around 2.5 million people die from the disease around the world each year.
'A piece of the jigsaw'
Scientists have known for some time that when host cells are invaded by this bacterium, they are able to call up additional immune cells to fight TB and try to limit the damage caused.
The team, including researchers from Imperial College London and the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, identified the CCR5 receptor on the host cells which triggers the immune cells' response.
The scientists found that if CCR5 was not present, the bacteria were able to thrive inside host cells, because immune cells did not receive the signal to attack.
Dr Beate Kampmann, from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine and the Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College London, who worked on the research, said: "These results describe a novel mechanism whereby Mycobacterium tuberculosis communicates with the human immune system.
"Another piece of this complex jigsaw has been filled in, which will help us to target TB with very specific drugs or vaccines.
The scientists hope that their findings could lead to a new vaccine or immunotherapy being developed which could artificially kick the immune cells into action in the same way as CCR5, boosting the body's ability to fight TB.
Dr Kampmann added: "We can now test potential vaccines or drug candidates for the desired effect, as we understand better how they should act."
A new way of tackling TB is urgently needed.
The existing BCG vaccine does not offer complete protection, and the current treatment for TB involves taking medication for at least six months.
This means many people do not complete the cause, fuelling the development of multi-drug resistant strains of TB.
Professor Peter Davies, head of the TB unit at Liverpool's Cardiothoracic Centre and a member of the campaign group TB Alert, welcomed the research.
He added: "At last we are getting scientific attention in the battle against TB which, as we all recognise, we are losing.
"There are more deaths and more cases each year.
"We desperately need new vaccines, diagnostics and drugs."
But they work so cheap.....lets bring more in...and let them pick all the vegetables.--what's a little of e-coli once in a while?...and while you're at it....raise my insurances and taxes some more. Create some new ones too!
Not only Tb but other diseases as well. Hubby (recently retired firefighter) knew of 2 cases of Leprosy in the illegal immigrant town he was stationed at.
Another of Bush's open-door policy legacies.
With the "new America" comes new challenges that we, the non-elites, will simply just have to bear.
|We are now one of the largest Spanish-speaking nations in the world. We're a major source of Latin music, journalism and culture.
Just go to Miami, or San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago or West New York, New Jersey ... and close your eyes and listen. You could just as easily be in Santo Domingo or Santiago, or San Miguel de Allende.
For years our nation has debated this change -- some have praised it and others have resented it. By nominating me, my party has made a choice to welcome the new America.
As I speak, we are celebrating the success of democracy in Mexico.
George Bush from a campaign speech in Miami, August 2000.
Here is an excerpt of a good critique of that speech:
In equating our intimate historic bonds to our mother country and to Canada with our ties to Mexico, W. shows a staggering ignorance of the civilizational facts of life. The reason we are so close to Britain and Canada is that we share with them a common historical culture, language, literature, and legal system, as well as similar standards of behavior, expectations of public officials, and so on. My Bush Epiphany By Lawrence Auster
The Path to National Suicide by Lawrence Auster (1990)
An essay on multi-culturalism and immigration.
How can we account for this remarkable silence? The answer, as I will try to show, is that when the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 was being considered in Congress, the demographic impact of the bill was misunderstood and downplayed by its sponsors. As a result, the subject of population change was never seriously examined. The lawmakers stated intention was that the Act should not radically transform Americas ethnic character; indeed, it was taken for granted by liberals such as Robert Kennedy that it was in the nations interest to avoid such a change. But the dramatic ethnic transformation that has actually occurred as a result of the 1965 Act has insensibly led to acceptance of that transformation in the form of a new, multicultural vision of American society. Dominating the media and the schools, ritualistically echoed by every politician, enforced in every public institution, this orthodoxy now forbids public criticism of the new path the country has taken. We are a nation of immigrants, we tell ourselves and the subject is closed. The consequences of this code of silence are bizarre. One can listen to statesmen and philosophers agonize over the multitudinous causes of our decline, and not hear a single word about the massive immigration from the Third World and the resulting social divisions. Opponents of population growth, whose crusade began in the 1960s out of a concern about the growth rate among resident Americans and its effects on the environment and the quality of life, now studiously ignore the question of immigration, which accounts for fully half of our population growth.
This curious inhibition stems, of course, from a paralyzing fear of the charge of racism. The very manner in which the issue is framedas a matter of equal rights and the blessings of diversity on one side, versus racism on the othertends to cut off all rational discourse on the subject. One can only wonder what would happen if the proponents of open immigration allowed the issue to be discussed, not as a moralistic dichotomy, but in terms of its real consequences. Instead of saying: We believe in the equal and unlimited right of all people to immigrate to the U.S. and enrich our land with their diversity, what if they said: We believe in an immigration policy which must result in a staggering increase in our population, a revolution in our culture and way of life, and the gradual submergence of our current population by Hispanic and Caribbean and Asian peoples. Such frankness would open up an honest debate between those who favor a radical change in Americas ethnic and cultural identity and those who think this nation should preserve its way of life and its predominant, European-American character. That is the actual choiceas distinct from the theoretical choice between equality and racismthat our nation faces. But the tyranny of silence has prevented the American people from freely making that choice.
Thanks, blam. Pinging RR, WCG, SJ.
But at least we'll eat cheap lettuce in the TB sanatorium!
Just a minor detail to the elites, who are always protected from horrors like this.
If facts about diseases like this drug-resistant form of TB don't catch the attention of Americans, nothing will.
Same reason, along with seeing kids with runny noses running all over the place, that I stopped going to Target and places like it.
The "elitists" and their families will never be subjected to situations like this, and they don't care a bit that we are forced to.
I'm sure my action on that bus would be called "racist" or "xenophobic"
by Ivy League professors that have never ridden a bus...
but I suppose I was a little sensitive to the problem as I'd recently seen
a documentary of two US doctors that had been forced to cobble together a
cocktail of donated US pharmaceuticals in order to treat resistant cases
of TB in South America.
I felt sorry for the rider. But if there's one place in the USA where an
illegal can get medical treatment (even better than any I could afford)...
it's Los Angeles.
Yet more evidence of the truth of the statement; "Our Diversity is Our Strength!"
NM has been treating a woman from Mexico (illegal) with this strain of TB. It has already cost the state of NM taxpayers over $250,000 and that was for one year of treatment. Had NM doctors turned her away, she would have died because she could not find this care in Mexico.
Let's just face it, the American taxpayer can't afford to carry the entire world on our backs, in spite of what that bunch of idiots in DC think. It's time they are given a reality check. I would be willing to bet that none of them have a clue about what's going on in the real world, but they can probably tell you what every play is about, who is staring at the opera, who is attending a party and all other social events that take place in DC. It's time they were kicked out of their ivory towers so they could join us in a taste of reality.
Infectious disease ping....
Thanks, blam, LucyT!
But at least we'll eat cheap
lettuce spinach in the TB sanatorium!
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