An antiquated system and poor management in China may have created a potentially disastrous epidemic for the world: a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. A combination of poor testing and treatment appears to have created both a multidrug-resistant or MDR tuberculosis. Of million TB patients, 110,000 now have MDR TB.
The article below suggests that the Chinese made poor decisions on detection and treatment for patients that led to the creation of the MDR TB.
Now there is evidence of a Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) that can be passed from patient to patient. Few Americans remember when TB hospitals were common sights and TB was viewed as a leading cause of death in the country and around the world.
The lack of transparency and freedom of the press in China only serves to worsen this problem. In the West, the failure of the government in dealing with the problem would be the focus of extensive reporting. However, China routinely quashes stories that are critical of government officials. This is particularly harmful because such articles can educate people that they need to finish drug treatments — one of the causes for the epidemic.
Many of us have complained that our government is not prioritizing this threat of the resistance to antibiotics and the threat of a pandemic. We have our own dysfunctional political system that is willing to pump hundreds of billions into two wars but relatively little in combatting the coming pandemic. Science and environmental budgets are being slashed while we continue to gush money in Iraq and Afghanistan. History may record that we were all a ship of fools sailing blissfully toward the new pandemic in the 21st Century.