TB patients assumed to have resistant strain

September 22, 1992|By Chicago Tribune

A new study by the American Lung Association says that drug-resistant tuberculosis has become so common in urban America that doctors should assume that new TB patients have the drug-resistant strain until proven otherwise.

"The major factor fueling the rise in drug-resistant TB is cessation or interruption of TB treatment," said Dr. Stephan Kamholz, an author of the study.

"Many hospitals just don't have the funds to do follow-up." It can take six to nine months of daily drug treatment to cure TB, but patients often stop taking medication prematurely, thereby helping to breed bacteria that comes back drug-resistant.

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