XDR-TB in South Africa: A New Pandemic?
January 23, 2007 10:50 AM   Subscribe

According to an article in The Guardian about this new scientific report on XDR-TB, a new kind of multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis, in PLOS Medicine, "More than 300 cases of the highly infectious disease, which is spread by airborne droplets and kills 98% of those infected within about two weeks, have been identified in South Africa."
posted by Quiplash (16 comments total)
I know. I'm already wallowing in luxurious (ex-)Lutheran guilt.
posted by Quiplash at 10:59 AM on January 23, 2007

Now that my faux pas has been so quickly edited out (thanks to the admins!) the above comment makes absolutely no sense. Please ignore.
posted by Quiplash at 11:01 AM on January 23, 2007

(for those who got here late: the original had read more | digg story links at the bottom :) )
posted by Malor at 11:05 AM on January 23, 2007

(*hangs head in shame*)

I used my original digg post as the text for the MF post. Recently, out of curiousity, I've been comparing what happens to identical stories posted at the same time at both MetaFilter and Digg. In all cases so far, the dugg story sinks like a rock amidst the fire-hose flow of incoming stories from hundreds of posters.

Anyways *ahem* back to TB...
posted by Quiplash at 11:09 AM on January 23, 2007

So does my BCG vaccination cover this or not?
posted by Arcaz Ino at 11:19 AM on January 23, 2007

Quiplash, you must be one of those Missouri Synod (ex-) Lutherans. the ELCAs I know are all about self-effacement; actual guilt would be too self-aggrandizing.

posted by pax digita at 11:28 AM on January 23, 2007

Derails aside, I noted that Tugela Ferry has a high incidence of HIV/AIDS, and apparently the link here is that the AIDS patients are taking up a lot of hospital beds that are also needed for TB patients. I'd been worrying a lot already about HIV/AIDS as a cofactor for other endemic diseases like malaria. This isn't as tightly coupled, but it certainly isn't helping.
posted by pax digita at 11:35 AM on January 23, 2007

Pax Digita: Got it in one :-/
posted by Quiplash at 11:44 AM on January 23, 2007

GWB, meet a real terrorist-- XDR-TB.
posted by jamjam at 2:42 PM on January 23, 2007

Incubation period is too short to pose a pandemic risk.
posted by Thoth at 7:46 PM on January 23, 2007

Is this the same thing that killed the guy from The Gods Must Be Crazy?
posted by stammer at 8:19 PM on January 23, 2007

Granted, that's "kills 98% of those infected" in Tugela Ferry and similar high-HIV areas. People and populations with stronger immune systems have a better chance. But even so that kind of mortality statistic plus extreme antibiotic resistance makes this compelling and chilling news.

[this is very bad]
posted by eritain at 10:52 PM on January 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh man, it's the disease that formed the drug-testing plotline for The Constant Gardener. Where are Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes to save us now? Who will be our martyrs to big pharma?

(Eeeeep. Nice, scary, post.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:48 PM on January 23, 2007

I'm waiting for GWB to declare war on all the bio-terrorists in Africa... one of his advisors will recommend that they nuke the whole continent in order to prevent the spread of this, ebola, AIDS, malaria, etc.
posted by Chunder at 2:17 AM on January 24, 2007

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