Published Date: 2007-06-27 18:00:03
Subject: PRO/EDR> Tuberculosis, XDR - South Africa (10): Western Cape
Archive Number: 20070627.2071
TUBERCULOSIS, XDR - SOUTH AFRICA (10): WESTERN CAPE
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 21 Jun 2007
Source: Independent Online [edited]
The number of people with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB)
has more than quadrupled in the Western Cape in the past 3 months,
provincial health department figures show. Also, the Brooklyn Chest TB
Hospital has 22 beds in the isolation wards to treat XDR TB cases and it
has no room for more patients. This comes as the City of Cape Town has
drawn up contingency plans in the event of an XDR TB outbreak.
Since World TB Day in March 2007, 45 XDR TB cases have been reported in the
province; 8 people have died, according to department figures. In March
2007, there were 10 known XDR TB cases in the province. XDR TB, which is
resistant to 1st and 2nd line antituberculosis treatment, is very difficult
to treat. It has killed 290 patients nationwide.
Department spokesperson, Faiza Steyn, said most patients with XDR TB were
admitted as quickly as possible to Brooklyn. "At times, patients do have to
wait for a bed at Brooklyn Chest Hospital," Steyn said. Some patients were
treated in side wards at the hospital, while the rest were in isolation at
prisons in the province, she added.
Treatment was provided for everyone who needed it. City health director,
Ivan Toms, said the department and clinics had implemented steps to reduce
the health risk of TB and XDR TB. "These include clinic designs to separate
waiting areas for TB clients, ensuring good airflow in TB areas, providing
masks to coughing TB patients, and respirators for all staff in the TB
area," he said.
XDR TB statistics for South Africa show that there are 437 cases, with 290
patients having died. Most were in KwaZulu-Natal, where the outbreak started.
[byline: Vusumuzi Ka Nzapheza]
[Initially most of the cases of XDR disease were occurring in HIV infected
individuals with rapid progression and death. Mortality was observed even
before the isolate was identified as XDR TB. It would be important to know
what percentage of the cases now are occurring in those who are HIV
infected and what empiric therapy in suspected XDR disease is being used.
The Western Cape Province of South Africa can be found on a map of the
country at <http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/southafr.pdf>.
Most of the country's provinces have had cases of XDR TB. - Mod.LL]