Background and Analylis

If nuclear war was the fear of the twentieth century, then a pandemic is the fear of the twentieth century.  With deases such as AIDS, Ebola, and Hantavirus garnering press attention, it is ironically a bacteria often thought of as a relic of the ninteenth century that looms as a new threat.

This desiese seemed on the edge of defeat in the last century, with several effective drugs.  There were several problems with the drugs, however.  First, they require a year to complete–a long time to remember to take medice.  Also, they are expensive and so people buy the first few rounds of the drug, but never finish the regimen.  This lead to drug resistence and the creation of Multi-drug resistant strains of the bacteria–MDR-TB.

MDR-TB is formally defined by the CDC as any tuberculosis (a bacteria that causes long-term damage to the lungs and any other tissue) that is resistant to both isoniazid and rifampicin.  However, as I adress this issue, I will refer to all forms of TB that can’t be treated by various drugs as MDR-TB.

The CDC reported this year that the desiese is spreading in the wake of AIDS and is consequentally a growing threat as that syndrome continues its global sojourn.  More to the point, it is spread by air and is much harder to take steps against than AIDS.  Breathing on a subway can constitute high-risk activity.

Far from being an illness of an era past, TB has arisen to evade be a still silent pandemic with potentially global ramifacations.


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