Skip to comments.Doctors Struggling to Fight 'Totally Drug-Resistant' Tuberculosis in South Africa
Posted on 02/12/2013 1:38:33 PM PST by neverdem
TB kills more people annually than any other infectious disease besides HIV
In a patient's fight against tuberculosisthe bacterial lung disease that kills more people annually than any infectious disease besides HIV doctors have more than 10 drugs from which to choose. Most of those didn't work for Uvistra Naidoo, a South African doctor who contracted the disease in his clinic. For those who contract the disease now, maybe none of them will.
A new paper published earlier this week in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases journal warns that the first cases of "totally drug-resistant" tuberculosis have been found in South Africa and that the disease is "virtually untreatable."
Like many bacterial diseases, tuberculosis has been evolving to fend off many effective antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat. But even treatable forms of the disease are particularly tricky to cure; drug sensitive strains must be treated with a six-month course of antibiotics. Tougher cases require long-term hospitalization and a regimen of harsh drugs that can last years.
Naidoo, then an avid runner, says he continued training for months with the disease, which affects more than 389,000 South Africans annually (about one fourth of Africa's cases), according to the World Health Organization. It wasn't until he went to visit his family in Durban (he had been working with TB patients in a pediatric clinic in Cape Town) that his family noticed he had lost more than 30 pounds.
"I had flu symptoms and chest pains, but I was still running so I didn't think anything was wrong," he says. But when he went in for an X-ray, doctors found that his entire right lung had filled with fluid. Within weeks, he was on his deathbed as his body wasn't responding to the most commonly prescribed...
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If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times... please close the lab door completely on your way in.. or out. Seriously, this is a plane trip away. Bleeding eyeballs and separating skin. Zombie TB attack. Ehhh.. I was not brave enough to click on the rats detecting TB link. I just came home from the lab, trying to detox.. Did I close that darn door?
Time to start opening the TB equivalent of “leper colonies”.
And that's a main reason we have multiple-resistant strains of many bacterial infections now: patients don't have the patience (nice pun, Doc) for a long course of antibiotics, so they kill the weaker germs and walk back out into the world carrying the really tough ones.
"Bring out your dead," nully?
FReepmail me if you want on or off my combined microbiology/immunology ping list.
THIS is the strongest reason for strong borders we have or have ever had. Even people who come in peace can bring bugs and germs that can kill millions.
I find some itchy footed “bragabonds” to be annoying and frankly dangerous in their insistent pursuit of high status traveling. I don’t care where you’ve been. Now, I’m off to wash my hands.
Post to me or FReep mail to be on/off the Bring Out Your Dead ping list.
In fact many of them were closed not that long ago.
As a child/youth in the 60’s, for a while we lived near a hospital that was way up on a hill.
It was a place that was strictly off limits to us kids who liked to wander and hike and explore.
It was a TB hospital that finally closed in the early 70’s when very effective drug therapies became accepted and available.
Make no mistake. TB was and is deadly. My grandmother passed in her late 50’s from TB she had had when she was much younger, and she never completely recovered from it.
>> THIS is the strongest reason for strong borders we have or have ever had.
Yup, but plenty of TB infected illegal aliens have already crossed.