Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Apocalyptic XDR-TB

Via ProMED-mail: Reuters reports on the "apocalyptic scenario" of an epidemic of extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis and a return "to the pre-antibiotic era":

XDR-TB cases are particularly difficult to treat, and a patient could infect other people for years, according to Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO's Stop TB Department.
"That is the big threat here. If you have more and more of these cases, you will automatically magnify the problem by having transmission going on to other individuals ... Once they become infected they are sort of a time bomb," Raviglione said.
"If this is kept unchecked and goes on, then you may also see an apocalyptic scenario where the present epidemic of TB is replaced by an epidemic of TB which is now fully resistant to everything," he added.

it's hard to maintain one's alarmist reputation when the WHO is more alarmed than you are...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Indonesia Hits 100

Via ProMED-mail: the WHO reports that Indonesia has reported its 100th human case of bird flu and 80th bird flu fatality.

A 26-year-old male from Riau Province developed symptoms on 3 June, was hospitalized on 6 June and died in hospital on 12 June. Investigations into the source of his infection indicate exposure to sick and dead poultry.