Monday, December 28, 2009

First Case of Fearsome TB Strain Found in US

Doctors say what they have found what they have both dreaded and expected for years: this country's first case of a contagious, aggressive, especially drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. The Associated Press learned of his case, which until now has not been made public, as part of a six-month look at the soaring global challenge of drug resistance.

The strain -- so-called extremely drug-resistant (XXDR) TB -- has never before been seen in the U.S., according to Dr. David Ashkin, one of the nation's leading experts on tuberculosis. XXDR tuberculosis is so rare that only a handful of other people in the world are thought to have had it.