A New Threat Along the U.S.-Mexico Border: Deadly, Drug Resistant TB

Along with all of the murders and killings from the drug cartels along the U.S.- Mexican border (as if that was not enough), we now have a new, even more dangerous threat, drug-resistant TB called MDR. While it is not epidemic as in India, China or Eastern Europe, there were 467 such cases in Mexico and only 124 in the USA. The two states hammered by the new TB are California and Texas.

The new TB is very dangerous. It spreads like wildfire because it is airborne, early symptoms are often not even noticed- losing weight gradually and getting tired. Worse, many doctors cannot even diagnose it. Even if a person has it, it is impossible to tell if others were infected. The border between the two countries is 2000 miles, and the CDC is very concerned that as more and more Mexicans cross over, they may carry this TB. Mexican authorities have already found higher concentrations of this TB along the border in places like Tijuana (which has 1000 cases of TB) It is worrisome since 150 million cross the border yearly. What percentage are carrying the TB and do not even know it? Baja California has discovered 1000 cases also. Inside San Diego and LA, both cities are already battling high TB rates because a majority of their population are Hispanic.

Treating this new TB is costly and time consuming: two years and $140,000. Doctors state that once the TB has been diagnosed, there is usually a Mexican connection or source. Mexican health officials stated there are 20,000 TB cases in the country and the cure rate is 85%, but as fast as some are cured, more arrive with TB.

Between the drug cartels and the MDR TB epidemic in Mexico, the USA border patrol has its hands full to protect American citizens.

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