Rise in TB cases concerns French officials

French doctors are concerned about the rising number of tuberculosis cases in the country in recent years.

Most TB cases in France are treated in pulmonology hospital wards, but the country’s one remaining TB sanatorium is open and likely to remain so. Some of the 60 patients at the Petit Fontainebleau sanatorium in Paris have developed drug-resistant TB, which is notoriously difficult to treat, according to UPI.

"This type of TB is difficult to treat because it needs other drugs which are less tolerated," Dr. Mathilde Jachym said, UPI reports. "We have to give patients this drug for a long time."

By the 1980s many health experts in France believed that TB would disappear, owing to medicines and better living conditions. The number of cases reported since 2000, however, have increased. According to Jachym, poor living conditions exacerbate the spread of TB.

"People who have social problems tend to postpone going to the doctor," Jachym said, according to UPI. "So tuberculosis can grow and grow. And when they come to the doctor, they often have developed very severe case of tuberculosis."

Maka Traore, an undocumented worker from Mali who is a patient at Petit Fontainebleau, said he is not looking forward to the prospect of leaving the sanatorium.

"I don't have a home and I don't have any work," Traore said, according to UPI. "I wanted to work here to send money to my family back home. It's very difficult to find work."