A Surprising and Worrisome Finding

Airborne transmission of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is likely behind the majority of new cases in South Africa, according to an article just published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
 
The assumption had been that patients developed XDR-TB because they weren’t following treatment protocols correctly—so TB would develop into drug-resistant TB. "The majority of the new cases, two-thirds of the cases in fact, were due to person-to-person transmission," said lead author Sarita Shah of the study that followed 400 patients in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
 
The surprise finding emphasizes the need to control TB early and to invest in measures to prevent airborne transmission, especially in hospitals and clinics.

Source: NPR Goats and Soda

Related: Spread of highly drug-resistant tuberculosis sparks concerns – STAT

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