Sunday, September 03, 2006

True Hollywood Stories: 28 Days Later

This is, officially, Extremely Bad News. Seems there is now a form of tuberculosis (TB, as it prefers to be called, and I would begin showing it a little respect, if I were you) that is resistant to all medical treatments, save one.

The Guardian also reports that the lone remaining treatment is expensive, toxic, and really doesn't do shit. Of the 53 people who had super-TB in South Africa, 52 died within a few weeks.

But wait -- that's not all! There are over 4 million people in South Africa alone that are HIV positive, who have no shot if they catch this bug and, as we all know, whose immune systems offer comprimised resistance, at best.

Aren't you glad you visited Rejoinder today?


At 6:38 PM, September 07, 2006, Anonymous RH said...

Hasn't this strain of TB been found all over the world, including the good ol' USA?

At 6:08 PM, September 29, 2006, Blogger Biche said...

According to this article (, yes -- XDR-TB has been found elsewhere, "including the United States, the Republic of Korea and the former Soviet republic of Latvia". The mortality rate in South Africa, however, is much higher than in other countries.

Also, the threat is not simply that XDR-TB exists, but that the number of already immune-comprimised people in South Africa, as well as neighboring countries, provides both the chance for a deadly eipdemic in that region, but also the breeding ground for further resistance development in XDR-TB.

If the looming prospect of millions of Africans dying from this combo isn't awful enough to demand more serious action (which it ususally isn't in the US), then the looming emergence of a fully resistant strain of TB ought to be.

At 6:10 PM, September 29, 2006, Blogger Biche said...

oh, by the way -- thanks for the comment, rh!! and i know that you, of all folks i know, would advocate for greater intervention in this situation!


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