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International News

Britain's First Case of Extreme Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Confirmed by Glasgow Hospital

March 21, 2008

A Somali man in his 30s has been diagnosed with the United Kingdom's first-ever case of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) and is receiving treatment at Glasgow's Gartnavel General Hospital. It is believed the man was in the process of claiming political asylum when his previously treated TB infection relapsed. Health authorities have been called in and are notifying and testing those potentially at risk of infection.

XDR-TB is resistant to the most powerful first- and second-line antibiotics. Treatment can take 12-18 months and cost more than £100,000 (US $198,165) per patient, a financial burden for local health authorities.

The patient was screened for infectious diseases upon arrival at Heathrow airport in November, when an X-ray showed TB scars on his lungs but no active disease. He told physicians he had recently taken a six-month course of TB treatment and, after an immigration interview, he was allowed to travel to Scotland. But he was admitted to Gartnavel in January when his TB infection reactivated, and cultures later showed he has XDR-TB.

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"XDR-TB is no more infectious than ordinary TB, but does require different treatment," said Dr. Oliver Blatchford, a consultant at the Greater Glasgow and Clyde National Health System public health unit. "The contacts of this case are being screened in the same way as ordinary TB contacts and will be monitored closely to ensure that any further cases are identified early and treated quickly."

Back to other news for March 2008

Adapted from:
Guardian
03.21.2008; Aiden Jones, Sarah Boseley


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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