Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness. This is an Open Thread.
Drug-resistant tuberculosis killed about 150,000 people in 2008, and half of all the world’s cases are thought in be in China and India, the World Health Organization said in a report last week.
No one knows the exact number of cases of the two types of drug-resistant TB, called MDR and XDR for multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant.
A few places, like Peru and Hong Kong, have fought the disease effectively, as New York City did in the early 1990s. Progress has been made in parts of Siberia, but in another region of Russia, more than a quarter of all cases are drug-resistant. And in Africa, a vast majority of cases have probably not even been diagnosed, the report said.
Even standard tuberculosis takes six months to cure with a four antibiotic cocktail. But the drugs cost only $20 and are relatively easy to take. Drug-resistant forms can take two years and require dangerously toxic drugs that cost $5,000 or more per person; they usually emerge when public health officials fail to ensure that patients with regular TB take their drugs daily.
As is now custom, I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement and ask questions, I’ll answer as best I can.