Drug-resistant TB Spreading Fast
September 14, 2011 by staff
Drug-resistant TB Spreading Fast, When Anna Watterson lost over 20 pounds and a cough he could not shake, I was afraid she had caught a mysterious disease. After several doctor visits and months of being ill in 2004, the London lawyer was finally diagnosed with drug-resistant tuberculosis. She is not sure she called him – whether traveling in the years before India and living in northwest London, a TB hotspot – but experts say patients and Watterson are increasingly common in throughout Europe.
“Nobody in Europe is 100 percent protected from drug-resistant tuberculosis,” said Ogtay Gozalov, a medical officer of the World Health Organization. He described the disease spreading in Europe as “alarming” and said that the above measures to contain the outbreak were inadequate.
On Tuesday, WHO issued a new plan to fight the disease in Europe that aims to diagnose the 85 percent of all patients and to treat at least 75 percent of them in late 2015. Only about 32 percent of patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis in western Europe are treated properly, many stop taking their medication before the treatment period, allowing the insect to develop resistance.
According to WHO, the nine countries with the highest rates of drug resistance in new TB patients are in Europe, including Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Agency’s plan and will cost $ 5 million and is intended to save about 120,000 lives and and $ 12 million in expenses for diagnosis and treatment by 2015.
Watterson said the low awareness of the disease among health workers also allows you to expand.
“There was a delay in the diagnosis of me because I was white, middle class person and the doctors did not think to test for it,” he said. Most patients with the disease in poor countries are immigrants or people who abuse drugs and alcohol.
Once diagnosed, Watterson was placed in solitary confinement for four months in hospital and visitors had to wear masks. She took a ccktail of drugs for almost two years, some of which made her nauseous and sensitive to sunlight I had to wear gloves to protect your hands in the summer.
Some experts said that the authorities must address the stigma that often accompanies tuberculosis and work harder to identify patients before transmitting the disease.
Ruth McNerney, a tuberculosis expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, described the WHO plan as “too ambitious”. But he warned there could be a much larger crisis in the future.
“If we do not resolve this soon, which could end up with both drug-resistant TB will be like being back in Victorian times, when there are no good treatments,” he said.
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