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Most XDR-TB Cases Spread From Person-To-Person, Study Shows

NPR: Why Is Extensively Drug-Resistant TB On The Rise?
“One of the big questions about extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis [XDR-TB] is whether this severe form of the disease is on the rise due to a failure of medications or if it’s spreading through the air. A new study of more than 400 patients in South Africa finds, unfortunately, that the answer appears to be the latter…” (Beaubien, 1/18).

Reuters Health: Person-to-person contact may cause most drug-resistant TB cases
“…Researchers tracked TB that is resistant to at least four key drugs and found that 69 percent of the victims had never received treatment, an indication that they had acquired it from others with extensively drug-resistant TB…” (Emery, 1/18).

STAT: Spread of highly drug-resistant tuberculosis sparks concerns
“…The research, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, does not suggest that extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis is spreading rapidly. But it does suggest that, of those tuberculosis cases in South Africa, far more are the result of transmission from person to person than previously known, rather than the result of improper medical treatment…” (Branswell, 1/18).

Wall Street Journal: Study Offers New Clues on Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
“…The findings show that prevention efforts should focus not just on correct antibiotic treatment, but also on preventing airborne transmission, said Neel Gandhi, associate professor of epidemiology, global health, and infectious diseases at Emory University and senior author of the study. That includes implementing ‘airborne infection control programs in hospitals, health care and other congregate settings,’ he said…” (McKay, 1/19).

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