Drug-Resistant ‘Super TB’ Cases Double in a Decade . . . and Experts Believe Many More Are Not Reported

Sophie Borland, Daily Mail (London), September 14, 2011

A deadly strain of tuberculosis which cannot be treated by most drugs is on the rise in Britain, health officials warn.

The number of cases of so-called ‘multidrug resistant’ TB have doubled in the past decade.

Figures from the Health Protection Agency show that there were 58 cases in 2009, up from just 28 in 2000.

But experts say that the true number of infections is much higher because many cases are never reported to authorities.

The resistant strain normally develops when patients with ordinary TB stop taking their antibiotics because they feel better or they simply forget.

But not all the bacteria in their body has been killed and the remainder mutates to become resistant to the drug.

This new strain then spreads very quickly and scientists say that every person infected passes the illness on to a least ten others.

Around half of patients with this super form of TB will die because they are not given the right drugs in time.

This particular type of the illness can be treated only with a handful of drugs which are far more expensive, and aren’t readily available.

The World Health Organisation yesterday issued a warning that multi-drug resistant TB is spreading at an ‘alarming rate’ across Europe.

Scientist say all GPs and hospital doctors need to be trained to spot the early warning signs in patients to stop it being passed on.

Dr Ibrahim Abubakar, a TB expert at the Health Protection Agency’s centre for infections, said: ‘I think without a doubt there’s a need to make all healthcare workers, but GPs and A&E staff in particular, aware of the signs and symptoms of TB so they can recognise this earlier.’

Dr Ogtay Gozalov, from the WHO European regional office, said anyone could become infected with resistant TB, not just groups such as children, migrants and the homeless.

‘It can affect anyone,’ he said. ‘Any one of us can be exposed to these diseases and get infected.

‘A big proportion of these people who are infected can convert and develop the resistant disease.’

Rates of all types of TB have hit a 30-year-high and there were 9,040 cases last year, the highest number recorded since 1979, when there were 9,266 cases.

This increase is partly due to higher numbers of immigrants coming in from India, South-East Asia and Africa where the disease is widespread.

London has by far the highest rates of infections in Britain, accounting for 40 per cent of the country’s total number of cases.

Other hotspots include Birmingham, Leicester and North-West England

The disease infects the lungs and typical symptoms include cough, fever, tiredness, lack of appetite night sweats and weight loss.

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • (AWG) Average White Guy

    Immigrants burden Britain’s tax-supported health care system even as multiculturalists insist they are contributing to the nation’s economny.

  • Jeddermann.

    This is not only in England. This is in the U.S. too and other “developed” nations. [not so developed now it would seems!]

    And there is a drawback to treating these folks. If you leave them untreated they die a quick death and do not pass the disease to others. If you treat them they live a prolonged agony and only allow for strains of the pathogens to become further resistant to treatment. You are only making the situation worse for society as a whole by “treating” the infected, as harsh as that may sound.

    There is going to be real hell to pay tomorrow [years from now]!

  • Irish in Paris

    This is the case in France too. The worst affected area is the heavily-immigrant departement of Seine-St-Denis, comprising the northern suburbs of Paris. The carriers are of African origin. The strains here are becoming more resistant too.

    The authorities are reticent to publicize it for fear of “stigmatizing” certain populations. Only when the disease spreads to vulnerable people, such as the homeless or over-worked medical personnel, who have never been to Africa, will they feel free to talk about it openly. It will then be possible to say – “See, it’s nothing to do with immigration. People who have never been outside of France are affected.”

  • Anonymous

    We forget that we have a problem here in this country which involves illegal immigrants from all points south of the border.

    Several year ago there was a lot of publicity about drug resistant strains of TB carried by Hispanics. Now there is hardly anything mentioned about it. Probably because people would start shunning brown skinned Spanish speaking people like the plague (no pun intended although they tend to bring this disease into the country with them and some would say their very existence in this country is a pestilence as well.

    Back in the nineties I pulled a stint as a mortuary apprentice in a county in south Texas. In school we were taught precautions in dealing with the dead. Six out of ten of the cases we handled were Hispanic. During wakes (Hispanics called them rosaries) we crowded 450 to 500 people into a space designed to hold no more than 250 to 300. Never once in my career did I handle a known TB case. In 2000 I went to work in a hospital where we were required to take a TB skin test. The first one I took came back positive for exposure. I have never developed an active case. I was advised to take the course of medications usually prescribed for exposure cases, but a doctor told me that I would be running a greater risk at my age from liver and kidney damage from the drug than the disease itself.

    Apparently some of these people are carriers and never develop active disease symptoms. Its almost like biological warfare if they can’t breed us out of existence they’ll contaminate us out with virulent diseases that we don’t have a resistance to or a cure for.

  • anonymous

    I know the bedbugs came from illegal immigration and I suspect the MRSA epidemic that the media tries to hide is also originating from anyone who wants to come in our country, does.

    without inspections of any kind

  • Anonymous

    A long time ago, in a different life, I worked for an agency of the State of Florida. Sometime in the mid 1970s it was discovered that Haitian illegals were exhibiting some odd diseases and circumstances with their immune system. A series of samples where sent to the Jacksonville State Lab where it was decided to send to CDC immediately. CDC went to some specialists in Rockville, MD and finally to the secret labs of the US Army. Yes we found AIDS, perhaps the first modern cases in this latest epidemic(some controversy over a black teen in 1949 Chicago may have been the first real HIVs). Since that time no further information ever came to me at my professional level. Oh, I did hear that the democrat governor of the state at that time, R. Askew and his admin. decided it would stigmatize our Haitian community so it was kept quiet. That is what is going on today, decisions based on political correctness. Just wait until you meet up with some new strain of Ebola. Fun huh.

  • Anonymous

    I remember reading a long time ago they stopped developing a vaccine for T.B. because they had penicillin that stopped the bug in it’s tracks before it developed into T.B. Now it is time to develop that vaccine. There is no excuse not to. Only the money interests that are making money over human pain and suffering by offering pills that make money for the vested money interests will stop the development of the vaccine for T.B. Or Maybe Bill Gates will get into the development of this vaccine who knows we shall see what happens.

  • Jeddermann.

    “Sometime in the mid 1970s it was discovered that Haitian illegals were exhibiting some odd diseases and circumstances with their immune system.”

    Once a year, boat loads of Haitians make the trek to west Africa, the land of their ancestors, as contract workers, to cut sugar cane. Seems the Haitians are cheaper and better workers and more preferred than the locals. Undoubtedly some Haitians caught the AIDS illness while visiting the motherland. Prostitutes and all that.

    Gay whitey from San Francisco during the 1970’s too found that they could take a vacation in Haiti and “buy” a young boy for ten dollars for a week and do what ever they want to do to the boy. Extreme depravity routine.

    Take it all from there.

  • Doctor Killdare

    Tuberculosis (TB) is among the leading conditions for which disparities in disease rates between blacks and white exist [1]. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the 4378 cases of TB reported in United States (US)–born patients in 2010, 40% were among non-Hispanic blacks, a rate 8 times higher than that among non-Hispanic whites [2]. Similarly, the prevalence of latent TB infection (LTBI) in US-born individuals is 5.7% among blacks, significantly higher than the 2.5% prevalence in Mexican-Americans and 1.1% in whites [3]. The proposed causes of this disparity include environmental and host factors [4], as well as differences in comorbid conditions that affect risk of developing TB once infected, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection [5]. In some studies, low socioeconomic status is reported to account for a significant proportion of the increased risk for TB seen in blacks in the US [6, 7]; however, other studies indicate that genetic susceptibility to infection may explain some of the racial differences in disease rates

    http://goo.gl/myyXW

  • Anonymous

    yes, I have noticed how the diseases of illegal mexicans and other third worlders has and is being buried by the media. Not only that, they get really mean if you suggest that bed bugs might be related to immigration. We now have leprosy in the US, only the media is lying about that too. Apparently armadillos are to blame not mexicans Haitians etc.

    so it goes, it’s so important to corporations to have cheap labor that they need to destroy the west to do so.

  • Anonymous

    Anon. #10: Until a few talking heads from the Liberal Media contract TB, leprosy, AIDS, or has an experience at a Hotel, or Motel, which is infested with bedbugs, or where their children come home with lice from School, then, and only then, will they report these incidents as more than just coincidence.

    When some, or all, of this happens, it will become newsworthy. When this happens, they will want answers.