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Concern Over Drug-Resistant TB
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Concern Over Drug-Resistant TB

Drug-resistant TB is one of the complications of today’s societies. The prevalence of the disease is increasing globally, says director of the Communicable Diseases Center for Disease Control and Prevention at Ministry of Health, Mehdi Gouya.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that spreads from person to person through the air. It usually affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. In most cases, TB is treatable and curable; however, people with TB can die if they do not get proper treatment, Farda News Reported.

Sometimes TB bacteria become resistant to the drugs used to treat TB. This means that the drug can no longer kill the bacteria.

Drug-resistant TB can occur when the drugs used to treat TB are misused or mismanaged. Examples include: when people do not complete the full course of treatment;

when healthcare providers prescribe the wrong treatment, the wrong dose, or wrong length of time for taking the drugs; when the supply of drugs is not always available; or when the drugs are of poor quality.

Treatment of the disease lasts six months, in most cases the patient does not need to be hospitalized while drug-resistant TB course of treatment lasts at least two years and the patients should be hospitalized for six months, during which the patient requires close monitoring by the doctor, as the antibiotics and the medicine used could bring about serious complications, he added.

Gouya also pointed that TB is of special concern for people with HIV infection or other conditions that can weaken the immune system. These people are more likely to develop TB disease once they are infected, and also have a higher risk of death once they develop TB.

The cost of normal TB treatment is about $110-140 per patient, whereas in drug-resistant TB disease as the patient is hospitalized for six months, the course of treatment costs about $12,500 carrying a major burden on the treatment sector of the country, he added.

According to Gouya, special drug-resistant TB centers are set up where the patients contracted with any kind of TB could be educated about preventive measures. In addition, the centers recommend suitable places for hospitalization and preventing disease pandemic.

There are ten TB preventive centers on the agenda including one in Kermanshah Province, which would be a preventive hub of TB disease in western Iran.

According to a WHO survey last year, there were approximately 190,000 deaths from drug-resistant TB; more than half of the patients were in India, China and Russia.

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