Via The Times of India: 105 multi-drug resistant tuberculosis cases in district in 3 months. Excerpt:
PUNE: As many as 105 multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) cases have been reported in the district over the last three and half months, with the highest number of cases being found in Pune city (45), followed by Pimpri-Chinchwad (34). The interiors of the district have reported 26 MDR-TB cases. This has been revealed by the referral laboratory at the Aundh Chest Hospital which started functioning on February 10.
"This means we have diagnosed 105 patients with MDR-TB in 111 days. We detected these cases in Pune district between February 10 and May 31," said Kanchan Jagtap, chief medical officer in charge of the State TB Training and Demonstration Centre (STDC) at the Aundh Chest Hospital.
Since the lab became operational, experts have begun demarcating the MDR cases from the regular TB cases. Tuberculosis can become resistant if a patient is not treated long enough, doesn't take the prescribed medication properly or is not prescribed the right drugs.
"All the 105 patients of MDR-TB are cases of pulmonary (lung) tuberculosis," said Jagtap. But if not detected and put on treatment, a patient of MDR-TB can spread the infection through droplets.
"An MDR-TB patient becomes non-infectious after three months of intensive treatment - meaning, he does not spread the infection after three months of treatment as the sputum is devoid of the disease-causing bacteria. The patient is also taught cough-hygiene and cough-etiquettes to ward off the spread of infection. After 24 months of treatment, an MDR-TB patient can be completely cured," Jagtap said.
Jagtap said, the health department has initiated multi-pronged approach to tackle the menace TB and its resistant form MDR-TB.
"We are creating awareness, detecting patients, counseling them to adhere to treatment and offering them free treatment. The recent Union government notification has made TB a notifiable disease - meaning even private medical practitioners will also have to report a TB case to the government. The move will bring every TB case on government radar and this will automatically preclude irrational treatment," said Jagtap.
Of the 1.2 million "new" TB cases notified in 2009 in India, as many as 14,991 (1.8%) were reported to have failed the first line anti-TB treatment drug regimen. Similarly, of the 2,89,756 re-treatment TB cases, 11,265 (4%) failed the first-line re-treatment regimen.
MDR-TB (resistance to two of the potent first-line anti-TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin) is one of the important causes for the failure of TB treatment.