XDR-TB Update: Will the health authorities find the missing contacts before they infect others

Health officials are on the lookout for people who may have direct contact with a person  diagnosed with drug resistant tubercle bacilli also known as XDR-TB. Locating the people who had direct contact with the patient is a priority one target. XDR-TB may not be as infectious as MERS  but we don’t want to have an epidemic here like what has been going on in South Korea. One infected person can make a lot of difference.

It was last April when the patient traveled from India to the U.S landing in Chicago. This was revealed on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seven weeks later, the patient, who also stayed for a time in Missouri and Tennessee, went to see a doctor and was diagnosed to suffer from active tuberculosis.

Commonly called TB, tuberculosis is a bacteria borne highly infectious disease which spreads through the air and usually attacks the patients’ lungs but may also ravage the kidneys, brain and spinal column. It’s usually fatal if left untreated.

Drug resistant Tubercle bacilli or XDR-TB is not common and is relatively rare kind according to health officials. They are resistant to at least four of the main anti-TB drugs according to the WHO.

There are several ways that people can get infected with it. It can prosper while the patient is receiving medication for active TB, when the anti-TB drug is not used properly, or it infect others from a person who is already suffering from it.

Patients with XDR-TB can be cured but it’s more difficult compared to people suffering from ordinary TB.

The patient is now undergoing treatment and is said to be in stable condition at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland, the CDC said.

Image: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/08/health/us-tuberculosis-patient/

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