India reports first death from TB

TB India reports first death from TBNow the rate of affected people from total drug resistant (TDR) tuberculosis (TB) is going to 12. In November last year the PD Hinduja hospital detected four people with TDR tuberculosis (TB), the first such cases in the country.

From the last two months, eight others have been detected with same.

Amongst them, one was from Dharavi, a 31-year-old woman who died in November 2011. After passing a surgery to remove one of her infected lungs, she passed away.

Doctors declare it a result of inappropriate treatment of TB patients in private clinics. A study has led by Dr Zarir F Udwadia, chest physician at PD Hinduja Hospital, he said, “Our last study on prescribing practices of private practitioners in the treatment of TB patients showed that only five of 106 private practitioners wrote the correct prescription for treating TB.”

According to doctors’ report, a person with TB can infect 15 people a year and cause an epidemic, according to doctors.

In fact, the hospital detected extreme drug resistant (XDR) TB cases five years ago. And the hospital got four TB patients resistant to all first-line (Isoniazid, Rifampicin, Ethambutol, Pyrazinamide and Streptomycin) and second-line (Ofloxacin, Moxifloxacin, Kanamycin, Amikacin, Capreomycin, Para-aminosalicylic acid and Ethionamide) drugs till November 2011.

Explaining their thorough study, Dr Udwadia said, “After thoroughly checking their prescriptions, we found that three of them had received erratic and unsupervised second-line drugs. They were often given in incorrect doses by multiple private practitioners to cure their multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.”

The India that deals with only 27 laboratories to test drug sensitivity, the government needs to address the issue immediately and increase such laboratories so that Patients with TDR-TB are put on a salvage regime.

It is not easily removed from antibiotics that can have dreadful side effects like neuropathy which damages a single nerve or nerve group that can lead to a loss of sensation of that nerve.

However TB is not a poor man’s disease, people like all sections of society suffering from TB, but there is difference in the manifestation of the disease.

“It is no longer restricted to the chest. We are seeing TB infection in scalp, skin and even nails. It is the more aggressive form of TB,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, consultant for infectious diseases at Jaslok hospital.

On the basis of hospital records that show, 20% of the global MDR-TB cases in 2006 come up in India. A recent study in Mumbai found 24% newly diagnosed patients with MDR-TB and 41% cases of first-line drugs failure. The prevalence of MDR-TB has grown significantly in India over the last two decades.

The study on TB by Dr Udwadia along with Dr Camilla Rodrigues, head of microbiology department at Hinduja, and their students, Dr Rohit Amale and Kanchan Ajbani was published in the science publication Clinical Infectious Diseases Advance Access on December 21, 2011.

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