Josh Ruxin, the Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health at Columbia, says that although only 17 people in the US have come down with Multidrug Resistant TB in the last seven years, it is a huge problem throughout Africa.
“In sub-Saharan Africa where roughly 25 million people are HIV positive, nearly half will develop TB. If treatment is not well administered, these cases will lead to new strains of resistant TB. There is a direct connection between the AIDS pandemic, TB, and the failure of health systems to appropriately diagnose and treat these diseases.”
Ruxin adds that while Congress is holding hearings on Andrew Speaker, the man who made tuberculosis a household word (again), “It is important that [we] not miss the larger frame his case reveals: in an age of global jet travel, there is no such thing as an isolated case. TB anywhere is TB everywhere. —BRIAN FAIRBANKS