There is more bad news regarding multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. A new study found that strains of tuberculosis that bypass most of the drugs that are usually used to treat bacterial infection have been spreading in South Africa, which already has a high tuberculosis infection rate. Health authorities are highly concerned of the extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis because of the way tuberculosis spreads.
Infected person's discharge bacteria from their lungs when then sneeze, cough or even talk. The bacteria could float in the air for hours in the right conditions and could be inhaled by other people. About half of South Africa's tuberculosis infection cases were in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal province that includes the city of Durban.
The research, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, says that this does not suggest that the cases of tuberculosis is spreading rapidly. But it does suggest that the multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is transmitted from person to person and not due to the improper medical as previously known. Scientist from US and South Africa found out from a study of 400 infected patients, most had become infected by contracting the bacteria from someone else.
Team lead for TB at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Peter Cegielski said that the extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis is rare in the US, there are about only five recorded cases in a year. According to the STAT, several of the scientist involved in the study work in Cegielski's department.
According to the NPR, Dr. Shah said that the treatment for XDR-TB is really difficult, long and not very effective with the drugs we have. It is also known to be costly, yet the fatality rate is 50 to 80 percent. The combination of XDR TB and HIV is particularly deadly. This calls for a critical importance and the critical need for more funding and resources at all levels. That could help research on new treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.