Prison Pete

Monday, April 25, 2005
  Does Anybody Read What They Print?
A recent short article on a tuberculosis scare in Amsterdam contained the following two statements which I find to be slightly contradictory:

"The city began a large-scale testing program this month after a supermarket cashier was found to carry the bacteria, which can cause hard-to-treat and sometimes fatal lung infections. [emphasis added]"

The next paragraph states:

"The disease can usually be cured with antibiotics. [emphasis added].

Is it a fatal disease or is it usually cured with antibiotics?

Could be me but I think the two sentences are not on the same wavelength.
Pete' "Is it a fatal disease or is it usually cured with antibiotics?
" This depends on where you live. In the USA and other developed countries, if treated, it is pretty much curable. In Africa and some Asian nations, unfortunately the availability of antibiotics is not as it is in the US, so to many in whom the diease progresses it is fatal. WHO quote over 2 million deaths due to TB per year.
Again, access to decent health care is what makes this treatable or fatal. Now, I live in the Washington DC area, which has the highest rates of TB infection in the US besides my home state of Louisiana and we've had a significant number of TB deaths in the last five years. A great deal depends on if you have drug-resistant TB or just regular TB, either can be effectively treated but it depends, again, on how good your physician is and what he's prescribing you. I've lived many years with drug resistant TB and only one significant outbreak. Staying well and treating any ailment that comes up helps too. But I've also spent much time in Kenya and Haiti, where they have much higher death rates due to TB because of the lack of health care. Make sure your prison health care provider is up on the latest methods for treating TB.
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