Tuberculosis on the Rebound

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mycobaterium tuberculosis is much less common than it used to be, but it is still considered a threat to public health and in some cases can be very difficult to treat. (Microbe World/flickr)

There are more than 8 million new tuberculosis infections every year—virulent new drug-resistant strains emerging faster than ever, outbreaks occurring across the world, and TB has become the second leading cause of death from an infectious disease on the planet. Jezza Neuman, producer, writer, and director of the new Frontline documentary “TB Silent Killer,” talks about traveling to Swaziland, the country with the world's highest incidence of TB, to create a portrait of the people living at the pandemic's epicenter. “TB Silent Killer” airs March 25 at 10 pm on PBS.


Jezza Neumann

Comments [6]

D.Torres from Manhattan

There are lot of drugs that can either cure or help people to live longer,
but are out of reach due to cost.
For example, my sister, Noemi has Hepatitis C.
Noemi's doctor, Dr. Douglas Dietrich, Mt. Sinai has prescribed
a course of treatment that could greatly help her, even has the potential
to cure Hepatitis C.
She is a retired city worker, living on a pension, worked for
Department of Finance for about 20 years.
Her medical insurance is GHI CBP. GHI says the medicine is too expensive
and denied coverage.

Dr. Douglas Dietrich prescribed Noemi Sovaldi 400 mg.

The cost of Sovaldi 400 mg is one thousand - $1,000.00 per pill.

He says she needs at least 4 months of this drug, Sovaldi 400 mg.

That is way too expensive for most people, my sister and I included.

There might be a way for her to get on some discount program,
offered by the drug company and she is looking into that,
filled out the forms and sent them in.

$1,000 a pill for drug that can have the potential for not only extending
life, but the quality of that life can put it out of the reach of many
of those that need it.

Mar. 24 2014 02:26 PM
Ed from Larchmont

From what I've read of saints' lives, it's a painful and scary way to die.

Mar. 24 2014 12:33 PM
Amy from Manhattan

It wasn't just the budget cuts in the Reagan years. I was working at a medical journal at the time, & we ran an article about how TB was making a comeback in the AIDS patient population (esp. in prisons, shelters, & even hospitals, because TB spreads better among people who spend extended time in enclosed places) & would not remain confined to that population. It was the refusal of the Reagan administration to do anything about AIDS/HIV that allowed both AIDS & TB to break out in the general population.

Mar. 24 2014 12:30 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Another reason to do what we can to keep people from getting AIDS.

Mar. 24 2014 12:30 PM
Listener from Manhattan

Is the current vaccine given to children in this country sufficient to protect against these tb strains?

Mar. 24 2014 12:21 PM
Ed from Larchmont

It's noticable how many saints in Europe died of TB in centuries past.

Mar. 24 2014 12:11 PM

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