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Yesterday Paul Nunn, who heads the World Health Organisation's TB resistance team, said the situation was very serious. There are 9m cases of TB in the world and the WHO estimates that 2% of them - or 180,000 - could be XDR-TB.
"This is raising the spectre of something that we have been worried might happen for a decade - the possibility of virtually untreatable TB," said Dr Nunn.
Even in the United States, which has the best medicines available, a third of those who have been diagnosed with XDR-TB have died. In March, the Centres for Disease Control in the US registered that there had been 64 cases of XDR-TB; 21 of those ended in death.
Significant numbers of cases have been confirmed in Latvia and Russia, but in many parts of the world, XDR-TB could be rife but unrecognised. One of the reasons the WHO is concerned is that tuberculosis spreads easily in confined places, such as aircraft. Multi-drug resistant TB strains - those that are resistant to the two basic, first-line drugs used to treat the disease - have spread everywhere, including to the UK. Multi-drug resistant TB is increasingly common and is difficult and expensive to treat. The patient must be given four out of the six existing second-line drugs.
But the XDR-TB strains now appearing are a medical nightmare because at least three out of those six second-line drugs have no effect. There are no third-line drugs.
Please see link for the rest of the story.....
Untreatable Tuberculosis!!! God help us!