A new study seeks to dispute that notion. The research was made possible with a tripartite alliance of researchers from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
Extensively drug-resistant TB is particularly troubling because of the way the disease is spread. The bacteria expelled from infected patients can float for hours under the right conditions, infecting others who inhale them.
Person-to-person transmission of
The research involved the analysis of hundreds of cases that took place in South Africa, and have concluded that about seven in ten cases of drug-resistant TB can be linked to human-to-human transmission.
drug resistant TB cause for concern
This new research has important implications pertaining to how medical systems around the world treat TB.
Amongst 400 patients with
The past consensus as to how drug-resistant TB develops is when the TB virus is treated with sub-par or incomplete therapy, thereby allowing the slow-growing bacterium to establish immunity towards other well-established therapies.
Co-author Dr. Neel R. Gandhi, at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, said, “For many years, there was this thought that maybe drug-resistant TB strains might not be able to be transmitted as efficiently
A researcher who
A global phenomenon with no signs of abatingMulti-drug resistance TB - defined to be resistant to at least four drugs - is a growing phenomenon that affects 105 countries globally.
Even in a country with a highly developed healthcare system such as Singapore, TB remains a cause for concern, although not of the resistant kind. Despite the low prevalence, there was a prominent case of drug-resistant TB just before the end of last year that has spread in a densely populated housing estate. In a sign that the epidemiological data surrounding
In Singapore, incidences of drug-resistant TB remain low, accounting for less than 1% of all cases since 2013. In 2015, all forms of TB affect 38.4 per 100,000 population,
This week in India, the Supreme Court ordered the government to administer daily medications to millions of TB patients who were only receiving the dose thrice a week. The order came amid activist claims of lives being endangered should daily doses not be administered.
An activist, Raman Kakkar said, “The government’s reluctance to shift to the new dosage was causing a relapse of the disease in many patients and was even responsible for the development of drug-resistant infections.”
The Indian government said it would switch to the new dosage after the depletion of the stock of medicine, which is estimated to be nine months later.
Risk of regressing back to the thirties
He delivered a grim outlook, saying that should there be no improvements in the effort to contain the spread of TB, even with recent breakthroughs, humanity is at risk of going “back to the 1930s and 1940s”. That era was cited explicitly, as due to a lack of medical knowledge surrounding the transmission and cures of TB then, those infected with TB was sent to sanatoriums to prevent further transmissions.
Mortality rates for those diagnosed with
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