For the first time in four years, instances of ‘extensively drug-resistant’ (XDR) tuberculosis (TB), wherein patients do not respond to readily available drug has dipped in Mumbai. The report, as quoted by The Hindu, also states that, at the same time, instances of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis and the drug sensitive form of the disease have increased.
As per statistics provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the number of XDR cases dipped from 670 in 2017 to 526 in the year 2018. The MDR cases, in the same year, spiked from 4,891 to 4,969, and drug-sensitive cases rose from 45,675 to 46,513.
“We have kind of hit a plateau in terms of XDR cases. With better and speedy diagnostics, the infection is being controlled at an earlier stage in most cases,” Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer at BMC was quoted as saying.
She also added that at present, the city has 28 GeneXpert machines which provide reports on drug resistance within two hours which enables doctors to shift patients on prescribed drugs for the resistant TB.
Dr Yatin Dholakia, secretary of the Maharashtra State Anti-Tuberculosis Association opines that the falling trend in XDR cases should be considered as a good sign. “It tells us that we are able to offer a timely diagnosis to stop patients progressing from MDR to XDR,” he told The Hindu.