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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Drug resistant TB in United States

We plan for the worst in disasters but we don't often think of diseases, especially TB.

TB is making a comeback, only now there are new strains of the disease that are drug resistant. This has occurred from the fluid transfer of people from other nations to the United States from third world countries and countries high in HIV and other serious diseases. Most people with HIV end up dieing from TB. Now there is a strain that is anti-biotic resistant.

How can we prepare against this type of problem? It is airborne and TB germs can float and last several hours in a room after a person has entered and either coughed, spoken or sneezed. Air transportation poses a problem as people are breathing the same unfiltered air for a several hour flight. A mask might help but it is impractical that we will give up our freedom on a flight by wearing a mask the entire flight.

Typically the poor and those who are HIV positive are carriers of TB. A person with TB will infect an average of more than ten to 15 others annually before they die.

Tuberculosis is the top single killer of adults worldwide, and it lies dormant in one and three people, according to WHO (the World Health Organization). Of those, 10 percent will develop active TB, and about 2 million people a year will die from it.

I do not have the solid definitive answer on how to not contract TB. It appears that not engaging in risky behavior such as illegal drugs and multiple sex partners would have to be a given because these behaviors place you at higher risk for HIV.
Next, I would say that if you are planning on doing any traveling to other countries that you seriously consider using a mask while traveling both to and from. Thirdly, I would reduce the amount of time you are exposed to people that have a hacking cough, including reducing the amount of time spent in ghettos and high risk areas such as bars and nightclubs.

Finally I would recommend that you maintain good health by regular checkups and should you actually contract the dreaded disease, do not panic...take all of your medications, without sharing and cutting yourself short. You may or may not have a resistant variety of TB. If you do have a resistant variety, isolation in a TB sanatorium may be necessary with avoidance of other people part of the treatment.

Since it's first discovery in 2007, resistant TB has spread world wide and may be the next epidemic. Let's pray it does not spread as did the Pandemic FLU virus.

So far, numbers in the US are small and not a serious threat, but just imagine a crowded air flight with a seriously sick individual could put the nation on alert.

It is not like we can stock up on antibiotics since these are prescription drugs. We are at the mercy of staying aware of our surroundings and our associates. Staying healthy may be our best defense. When our immune systems are down we are more prone to infections and viruses and germs. So use common sense and stay vigilant and take good care of your family members.

For more information: see MSNBC news article on, "First case of extremely drug-resistant TB in U.S."

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Washington Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Washington Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.