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SASTM Newsflash - Tuberculosis: India


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SASTM Newsflash




Two cases of the dreaded extreme [extensively] drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), the world's most untreatable form of TB, have been detected in Pune district for the 1st time ever. While one patient is from the "peth" areas in Pune, the other is from Yamunanagar in Pimpri Chinchwad.


"These are the only 2 XDR-TB patients so far in Pune district, though as many as 46 similar cases have been detected in other places in the state in the last 2 years," S P Sabnis, joint director (TB), state public health department, told TOI on Friday [22 Mar 2013]. Of these 46 cases, Mumbai alone accounted for 42 cases.


Pune district has been continuously seeing cases of MDR-TB, with as many as 308 cases having been registered in Pune city, Pimpri Chinchwad and the rural areas.


Communicated by: ProMED-mail


India has 1/5th of the world's drug-resistant tuberculosis cases. TB has emerged as one of the most serious public health threats. With an estimated number of 66 000 multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases in 2011, India tops the chart in South-East Asia. The actual number of MDR-TB cases, which are extremely difficult to treat, could range from 55 000 to 77 000, though the overall prevalence is just above 2 per cent.


The South-East Asia region harbours 89 000 estimated MDR-TB cases (72 000-108 000) accounting for more than 1/4th of the world's estimated MDR-TB cases in 2011. India ranks 2nd after China," says the World Health Organisation's latest report. India is miles ahead of others in the region. The 2 worst figures after India come from Indonesia (6620) and Myanmar (5500). "We are not tackling MDR cases with seriousness, which is a mistake. Treating each MDR cases is 100 times more expensive than a regular TB case. The government needs to find MDR cases and treat them as quickly as possible," R Lakshminarayan, vice president (research) in the Public Health Foundation of India, who is not associated with the WHO report, told Deccan Herald.


Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) has been reported from 5 countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Thailand) in the region. In December 2011, so called cases of "totally drug-resistant TB" that posed a big challenge to clinicians and public health authorities were reported in Mumbai.


As per the WHO estimates, prevalence and incidence rates of all forms of tuberculosis in India were respectively 249 and 181 per 100 000 population in 2011. As many as 24 persons (range is from a low of 15 to a high of 35) per 100 000 are killed by the bug. The spread and virulence of tuberculosis, particularly the resistant variety, compelled the central government to make TB a notifiable disease, which ensures reporting of TB cases from the private sector to the government programme and compulsory treatment. Patients jumping from one private doctor to another without completing the drug regimen contribute to a sharp increase in resistant TB cases.



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The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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