Johns Hopkins Children’s Centre has just reported a case of Extensively Drug Resistant TB in a two year old child who spent three months in India on holidays with her family. She reported with fever and slight cough but examinations did not reveal TB. Chest X-rays and CT scan showed a small shadow in one of the lung but that was not enough to confirm TB as the sputum which was difficult to get as is the case in children did not show TB germs.
However the child was put on four standard anti-TB drugs, the fever broke but the shadow in the lung continued as the child was not responding to the drugs. Eventually, the sputum grew TB germs to confirm the presence of the disease.
Meanwhile, the fever came back and culture revealed that the germs were resistant to three of the standard drugs; the child was treated for 18 months and is now well.
The World Health Organization says there were about 10 million new cases of TB globally in 2014 with about 1 million in under five children. There is a resurgence of drug resistant TB worldwide.