Powerful new strain of TB has emerged, already killing 500K per year
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/25/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Tuberculosis has been making a comeback for several years and appears to have taken permanent root in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Nearly half a million people worldwide are infected with a particularly hardy strain of the disease and 1.3 million people per year are dying from it.
MDR-TB is a major killer and when it combines with diseases such as HIV, there is no chance of survival.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Tuberculosis is the world's second-most deadly infectious disease, only behind HIV/AIDS in mortality. The disease, which has long stalked human populations and been a major killer, was largely eliminated, but new mutations and late diagnosis, mistaken diagnosis, poverty and instability are contributing to the reemergence of this major killer.
The most alarming strain of the disease, Mycobacteria tuberculosis is resistant to all antibiotics meaning that patients who contract the disease are very likely to die slow and painful deaths as the disease slowly destroys their lungs rendering them unable to breathe.
The bacteria's secret is an extra-thick wall of wax and acids that make it very hard for antibiotics to destroy the germ. Most antibiotics cannot penetrate this layer of wax and only a few can actually work well enough to kill these hardy germs. Equally dangerous are the antibiotics themselves. An antibiotic powerful enough to kill this strain of TB is also powerful enough to harm the human body.
Patients who have taken these most powerful antibiotics to beat the disease often remain living with other impairments, such as deafness, because of the antibiotic treatment.
The treatments themselves are dangerous both for their inherent potency as well as for the course of treatment which can range from a minimum of six months to two years. The bacteria is capable of living within cells, possibly even white blood cells, and it cannot be killed in this dormant state. After a period of several months, it can reemerge causing a relapse. The only way to defeat this mechanism of survival is to continue a course of antibiotics without interruption for a very long time.
Complicating the problem is the frequent misdiagnosis of resistant (known as MDR-TB) tuberculosis as ordinary TB, or even as something else altogether. Less than a third of all MDR-TB cases are accurately diagnosed.
As patients go about with the wrong diagnosis and the wrong medications, they continue to spread the disease.
The World Health Organization is recommending use of a powerful new antibiotic, bedaquiline, in patients. A second antibiotic, delmanid, is under consideration to be administered in conjunction with bedaquiline.
New tests are also being developed that may accurately detect MDR-TB within hours instead of the normal weeks it takes to return a lab result.
The WHO and Doctors Without Borders is also calling on world governments to do more to fight this strain, including more money for care as well as more research.
Diseases have shaped human history since the beginning of time. Only recently have advances in sanitation, vaccinations, and antibiotics helped to defeat most of history's greatest killers. Despite this, natural selection is hard at work within victims, producing tougher strains of bacteria and viruses and other parasites that cause human illness.
Unless fully eradicated by vaccinations and universal care, these diseases will evolve resistance to our methods and reemerge as major killers in the years to come. Fortunately, each time a disease threatens to reemerge, we have managed to contain it to a significant degree via robust responses. However, nature is powerful and we're locked in an arms race that is influenced by human factors such as economics, politics, and even religious belief. Given that the diseases are only concerned with prorogation, there's a powerful chance we could lose the race. If that happens, diseases will return to reshape our world, much as they did over a century ago.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption. That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.
Could your cleaning supplies be making you sick? A new study suggests they are, after finding that women who use household cleaning ... continue reading
Surely depression is an unwelcome visitor, one that can easily wreak havoc in the lives of those within its reach. However, it is not ... continue reading
As the deadly flu season remains far from over, controversy over whether to get the vaccine or not lingers on everyone's minds. LOS ... continue reading
The mind-body connection is a strong one, especially when there has been significant childhood trauma. This connection is one that often ... continue reading
Several Stanford researchers may have found a potential cure for cancer with a simple injection now being referred to as a "cancer ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Pope Francis accepts bishop's resignation
- St. Severian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- British Court rules: Bermuda's actions to defend marriage will stand
- Are your cleaning products making you sick?
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- Cleaning products could be damaging to your health HD Video
- St. Patrick HD
- Deadly Flu Season: Vaccine only 36 percent effective during worst season in years HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education