Drug-resistant tuberculosis patients face dwindling treatment options

by Katya Cengel,  AlJazeera

Stephanie, 29, doesn’t know what to say when her brother, who has what his doctor says is the most drug-resistant tuberculosis ever diagnosed in the U.S., asks her what kind of life he is going to have if he can’t walk, use his hands or hear.

“I just say, ‘But you’re alive,’” she says.

Her brother, Gary, is 37 and has extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB), a rare type of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis that does not respond to almost any of the drugs used to treat TB. A year ago his family thought he would die. He still could. In November he was admitted to the hospital for a cold, a simple sickness that for Gary could prove deadly. He has only one lung, extreme hearing loss and disabling nerve damage to his hands and feet that makes it painful to walk. He suffers from paranoia and memory loss, and his skin is covered in pimples.  Read the entire story.

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