Here's another outlet take on the same story - from original WSJ article
I think it's an important story. A new strain of TB, called TDR-TB, is totally untreatable with current methods. How India is treating TB patients only makes the situation worse by developing more resistant strains. TDR-TB was also been found in Italy (2007) and Iran (2009). Fortunately, those were contained.
India is not Italy or Iran. The first thing Indian officials did was to seize patient samples and go on the nation's media to deny there was a problem. "We finally have ended up with a virtually untreatable strain" of tuberculosis in India, said Dr. Zarir Udwadia, one of the country's leading TB authorities.
"In December, Dr. Udwadia reported in a medical journal that he had four tuberculosis patients resistant to all treatment. By January, he had a dozen cases, then 15. A government backlash began immediately. Anonymous health-ministry officials denied the reports through media outlets. They accused Dr. Udwadia and his colleagues of starting a panic. A Mumbai city health official seized patient samples for verification in government labs. In April, the government quietly confirmed the strain, according to internal Indian health-ministry documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal."
Eventually TB (tuberculosis) could return to its original version, uncontrollable and killing 2/3 of its victims. It was back in the 1940s and 50s you had huge complexes where TB patients were isolated from the rest of society. It was only 50 years ago that we developed the drugs to cure TB - unfortunately we haven't developed new TB drugs and nature adapted with more virulent strains. From Nature's article - "The fact that no new first-line TB drugs have been developed for half a century has probably contributed to the emergence of strains that are unresponsive to treatment, says Mitnick. “If you keep using the same drugs for that long, resistance is inevitable."
Come to think of it, India is the most populated country in the world. Small tight space and people were giving birth to a lot of children. Plus, most people living in India don't have enough money to travel elsewhere. Inbreeding can become a big problem as it can lead to a loss of immune system function.
Last edited by TheCoffeePrince; 06-21-2012 at 10:15 AM..
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