TB infections can be completely ended, experts say

According to a statement given during Tuesday’s World Tuberculosis Day seminar held at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, experts believe that tuberculosis is completely curable in the modern age.

The seminar covered the subjects of TB diagnosis and the growing problem of multi-drug resistant TB, the Pakistan Daily Times reports. There are 700,000 cases of TB in Pakistan currently with 400,000 new cases added each year.

According to Dr. Javaid Khan, the head of AKU’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section, failing to act immediately to stem the tide of TB means that approximately 40 million people worldwide will be stricken with TB and at least eight million will die of the disease from 2011 through 2015.

To combat the disease, Khan said, according to the Pakistan Daily times, all TB patients should follow the World Health Organization suggested Dots program and take a full six month course of anti-TB drugs.

Experts leading the seminar said that chest x-rays alone cannot be used to diagnose TB. The examination of a patient’s sputum for two days is a more simple and effective method, according to the experts. In addition, patients must have the nature of the disease explained to them and the consequences of MDR-TB if they do not obey the treatment.

MDR-TB takes much longer to treat and can only be defeated using more expensive second-line drugs.