Thursday, June 28, 2012

TB in China

A little preview of next week's topic in this week's article, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, on the scale of the tuberculosis problem in China:
National Survey of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in China
China has a serious epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis. MDR tuberculosis is linked to inadequate treatment in both the public health system and the hospital system, especially tuberculosis hospitals; however, primary transmission accounts for most cases. 
The most alarming facts are the extent of drug-resistant strains and a number of news outlets picked up on this story, for example Reuters and the the New York Times.

(O)ne in 10 Chinese patients newly diagnosed or recently treated for TB had a drug-resistant strain of the highly contagious lung disease.
Around 0.5 percent of new cases - equating to 5,000 people a year - were diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant TB, which experts say is almost incurable.

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