Thursday, January 14, 2010

Olivia Cvitanic:The First Case of Multidrug Resistant TB in America

The First Case of Multidrug Resistant TB in America

The first case of highly drug resistant TB, XXDR TB, was identified in Lantana, Florida in December 2009. 19 year old Oswaldo Juarez came from Peru to visit America and study English. He came down with a slight cough that slowly developed into full blown tuberculosis, which became apparent after he began coughing up mouthfuls of blood one night, Juarez claimed, “I’m dying…because when you cough up bloodl it’s something really bad.”

Indeed, it was bad. This type of TB is bad for Juarez and for the many people he could have infected before he went into the hospital and those he could infect during his time at the hospital. Doctors seem to be offering up nothing but dismal views for the future. Dr. David Ashkin, one of today’s leading experts of tuberculosis says “He [Juarez] really is the future… These are the ones we really fear because I’m not sure how to treat them.”

Tuberculosis is not the only disease that’s mutating to resist treatment making our medicines obsolete. Malaria and HIV are also developing drug resistance. In fact, 65,000 Americans died last year due to drug resistant diseases which, sadly, is only expected to increase. The overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics is one major reason diseases have been allowed to mutate and thus have become invulnerable to many drugs that in the past worked extremely effectively. I’m sorry my post is such a downer, but still, it’s all important stuff. If you would like to read more from this article, here’s the link:

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