Wednesday, March 14, 2007
An interesting article was published recently in a free online medical journal. Academics from Southern Africa and Canada discuss the question of whether or not it is necessary to quarantine tuberculosis sufferers in South Africa in order to stop the development and spread of a drug resistant variety of the bug. Part of the man-made problem of XDR-TB is that instead of staying in hospital voluntarily in order to receive proper care patients leave as quickly as they can, because otherwise their welfare benefits would be cut by government. This is a serious problem obviously. While proper care cures about 98% of TB sufferers in developed countries, this figure comes down to 50% in South Africa. One consequence is that ever more dangerous variations of TB develop. The reason is that people out of hospital are less compliant when it comes to taking their medication as they should. A paper worth reading.