News / Health

TB Treatment Sees Progress, Setbacks

TB Treatment Sees Progress, Setbacksi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Carol Pearson
March 23, 2014 11:53 AM
There's good news and some sobering news to report on World TB Day on March 24. The good news...there are new drugs,new tests and a promising vaccine being developed. The bad news...drug resistance is common and a multi-drug resistant variety of TB is being called a global threat. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.

TB Treatment Sees Progress, Setbacks

Carol Pearson
There's good news and bad news to report for World TB Day, March 24.

The good news: there are new drugs, new tests and a promising vaccine being developed.

The sobering news: drug resistance is common and health officials are calling a multi-drug resistant variety of TB "a global threat."

The World Health Organization says 8.6 million people became ill with tuberculosis in 2012, the most recent year with available statistics. Most of those infected with TB live in developing countries. And people with HIV have an especially high risk of developing TB. 

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, one-third of the world's population has latent tuberculosis. They have no symptoms, but could become sick at some point because they are infected with the TB bacteria.

TB is spread through the air, when an infected person coughs. The disease is curable, with treatment.  Most of the 1.3 million people who died from tuberculosis in 2012 were not treated.

In Chicago, Dr. Dean Schraufnagel treats about 200 TB patients a year. "Treatment is really prevention," he said, "because once you treat a single case, then that person is no longer able to spread it to anyone else."

The problem is the billions who don't know they have TB, are not in treatment or are being treated but stop taking their medicine. Despite this issue, both doctors are optimistic.  Dr. Fauci observed, "Over the last 10 or so years, the number of cases and the number of deaths from tuberculosis have come down, mostly through public health measures." The World Health Organization reports the death rate has dropped to nearly half of what it was 20 years ago.

Dr. Schraufnagel, a past vice president of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, says the world cannot let up. "We can't say, 'OK, we've made some progress; we don't need to do more."

That's because it's clear that if TB is not controlled early, and drug resistant strains spread, the world will face a much deadlier threat.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid