Following the discovery of 4 cases of totally drug resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB) in a Mumbai hospital 3 days ago, 2 confirmed cases with the deadly new strain of TB have been detected at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) in Bangalore. But the scarier scenario is this: one of them, a 56-year-old man, has gone missing, raising the threat perception many levels higher, considering that he could infect others with the deadly strain.
The revelation of 2 confirmed totally drug resistant-tuberculosis (TDR-TB) cases at RGICD has shaken the health ministry and officials who had instantly gone into a denial mode, even as they blame the RGICD for not bringing the cases to their notice. Dr Shashidhar Buggi, director, RGICD, said: “If they ask us, we will let them know. We are a national institute; if the state government asks us for the report, we will definitely give it to them.”
Both the TDR-TB cases in Bangalore were confirmed after the RGICD sent their sputum (phlegm) samples to Chennai’s Intermediate Reference Laboratory, where the samples tested positive for the deadly TDR-TB strain. The other patient suffering from the TDR-TB is a 29-year-old woman.
There are two major issues for concern.
- One of the confirmed TDR-TB patients has gone missing AND
- State and National health department officials seem to remain in the dark.