Totally Drug-Resistant TB Discovered
India reports 12 cases of most deadly strain yet of bacteria
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2012 4:17 AM CST
Updated Jan 16, 2012 4:45 AM CST
An unidentified tuberculosis (TB) patient sits on his bed at the state TB hospital in Gauhati, India.   (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

(Newser) – As if "extensively" drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis were not scary enough, Indian doctors have discovered "totally" drug-resistant TB, reports AP. Twelve patients have been discovered who did not respond to initial treatment or two subsequent medicines tried over the next two or three years. Three have died, and doctors said prospects are grim for the others. "It was a given that this would happen," said one of the doctors who wrote about the dangerous new cases. "They have had no help from the Indian TB system. They are the untouchables, so no one is making a fuss. They don't have the power to vocalize. There's going to be more family contacts. It's going to spread for sure."

There is still debate in the medical community about whether the TB is completely resistant to all drugs, and the WHO has not yet accepted the term. However, the increase in dangerous new strains of tuberculosis is clear. "For there to be another report coming out from India is no surprise at all. Indeed, in a sense, it's surprising it's taken so long," said a WHO doctor. This is "yet another alarm call for countries and others engaged in TB control to do their jobs properly."

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
getoffmylawn
Jan 16, 2012 9:27 PM CST
I think it was July 1981. Someone posted a tiny little NY Times article on a Fire Island Pines bulletin board about some mysterious disease that was afflicting about 15 mostly gay men in New York and San Francisco. Noone paid much attention to it. It was summer by the sea and we were all having such a good wild time. The disease was AIDS. Almost all the people who read that article were dead w/in 10 years, as were hundreds of thousands more. Uncureable TB? Uh=oh....here we go again.
fractal
Jan 16, 2012 2:28 PM CST
I watch people spitting on the sidewalk and remember why that shit is against the law. Pretty soon we will be prosecuting people for doing it, again. One or two big epidemics, and this country is going to have to seriously consider voluntary euthanasia.
bewilderbeast
Jan 16, 2012 8:47 AM CST
Damn! We WILL sell antibiotics like candy, and use them like they're water, rather than serious medicines! Now the chickens vultures are coming home to roost.