|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives | Search|
Glasgow Man Treated For Drug Resistant TB
By Craig McDonald
Glascow, Scotland, 22 March 2008 - DOCTORS in Glasgow are treating the first patient in the UK to be diagnosed with a super-strong form of tuberculosis.
The man, who is in his 30s and came to Britain from Somalia last year, is in an isolation unit at Gartnavel General Hospital.
He is suffering from Extreme drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis, which cannot be treated with standard antibiotics.
Tuberculosis is not highly infectious and experts insist there is no risk of the disease spreading to the general public.
But doctors are keeping a watch on people who have spent long periods in close contact with the infected man. Glasgow public health consultant Dr Oliver Blatchford said yesterday: "They are being screened and will be monitored closely to ensure that any further cases are identified and treated quickly."
The patient was screened for infectious diseases when he arrived at Heathrow last November. An X-ray revealed TB scars on his lungs but the disease was not active at that time.
The man, who is understood to have claimed political asylum, told doctors at the airport that he had recently had six months of treatment for TB.
He was given permission to travel to Scotland, where he fell ill. He went into hospital in January.
Normal TB drugs do not work on XDR, so a cocktail of different medicines is used to contain the disease. A full course of treatment takes up to 18 months and costs more than £100,000.
Tuberculosis was once one of Britain's biggest killers.
But the disease was virtually wiped out in this country by the discovery of antibiotics, and most of the patients now treated in the UK become infected in other parts of the world where TB is still common.
South-east Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of eastern Europe have high rates of TB infection.
Tests last week revealed that 20 children at Notre Dame primary school in Dowanhill, Glasgow, had been exposed to TB. The results came weeks after a teacher at the school fell ill with the disease.
Only one of the youngsters was confirmed as being infected with TB. The other 19 were put on antibiotics as a precaution.Source: Scottish Daily Record