Explore the health and wellbeing issues concerning XDR tuberculosis and yellow fever.
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Host: Tuberculosis is one of the world’s most contagious and deadly bacterial diseases infecting almost 15 million people per year resulting in the deaths of almost 2 million. If caught in the early stages it can be treated effectively with the range of antibiotics but misdiagnosis and misuse of drugs has led to the development of a bigger problem. The bacteria responsible for the disease have evolved a resistance to the most aggressive chemotherapy experts have to offer. John Moore-Gillon: Tuberculosis is never gone away. People thought it was cracked that they told it was going eradicated by 2000 but it really has come back with the vengeance on a global basis. Without global population ability on the scale which we have never seen before and London and other big cities all around the world acting as mirrors to what’s going on in the rest of the world. Host: Scientist set upping the new strain XDR TB which stands for Extensively Drug Resistant Tuberculosis. It tends to develop if the diagnosis had been left too late making the first line of drugs inadequate for the job. If it is resistant to second line drugs, it’s classified as XDR. The problem with TB is that it can lay dormant in your body for years just waiting for your immune system to get run down before it decides to multiply and give you visible symptoms such as a persistent cough, chest pain, fevers and chills if it’s the pulmonary variety. Once the TB becomes active the bacteria can spread like wild fire. Michael Luhan: TB is something for washing your parents in the past. All families or perhaps some history in the family from early 20th century because the epidemic was the biggest killer of your parents at that time but it isn’t in the past. It’s very present and it’s very near. Host: Six tuberculosis vaccines are being tried in TB affected areas such as South Africa. Thanks to donations from the Gates Foundation. Measures must be taken to stop a potential epidemic. The tens of thousands of droplets released through sneezes and coughs are the perfect vehicle for TB to spread to from one person to another. Dr. Paula Fujiwara: Tuberculosis is an interesting disease because it’s a public health disease because it’s air borne. But I want to emphasize that you cannot get tuberculosis on the subway which is something that a lot of people that you need prolonged contact from weeks to months usually by the person who has infectious tuberculosis in the lungs and it’s coughing. Host: TB can move away from the lungs to infect the nervous system, the lymphatic system and bones and joints. Take precautions while traveling in Africa, India and the Ukraine. Next time you’re traveling in South America and Africa be sure to wear long sleeves coats and don’t forget the mosquito repellant. This is the best way to keep the Aedes Aegypti mosquito from coming anywhere near you. The yellow fever mosquito is the harbinger of a dreadful virus that will move and put a dab on your holiday. Keep a look for the symptoms, three to six days after being bitten by a yellow fever mosquito, you may experience fever, headache, chills and back pain. You may not feel like eating probably due to nausea and vomiting. These symptoms might ovate after three days letting you off the hook. But if you are amino suppressed you may enter the second stage. You’ll turn yellow from liver damage due to a long term fever and may even start bleeding from the eyes and mouth. Be sure to pack a mosquito net because once you went to the second stage there’s not much to be done except endure it under medical supervision. Fifteen percent of people don’t make it. Vaccinations are recommended before you travel and become effective on the tenth day after being administered. Two hundred thousand people catch yellow fever every year. Photographer James Nachtwey has created an extremely moving photo essay that tells the story of XDR tuberculosis. Log on to XDRTB.org.