"This is an excellent book. It should be read by all who are interested in any aspect of Tuberculosis, including the growing problem of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis." "Journal of American Medical Association
"The book serves an important function, relaying statistics and TB hot spots, proposing funding and international standardized treatments. Government officials, researchers and nonprofit health organizations will likely cast this as the authoritative book on the subject." "Publishers Weekly
"Like other recent works on the threat of infectious diseases such as Laurie Garrett's "The Coming Plague, Timebomb has the power of fiction and it is sometimes easy to forget that it is not. Unlike the Garrett book, which is more a collection of short dramatic stories collectively telling a big picture about our coexistence and evolution with microbes, Reichman selects one story and presents it in novel form with better material that most science fiction. The book is organized in a clear and riveting manner.
Within the narrative style, the book is rich with up-to-the-minute details and references that add to its depth. An incredible account of politics and disease dynamics occurring at all levels, "Timebomb helps us realize that controlling or eradicating TB is not just about science and facts; likely if it were, TB would have long been relegated to the history books."-- "Nature Medicine Magazine
Tuberculosis, supposedly defeated by antibiotics half a century ago, has returned in a highly contagious and fatal new form that cannot be treated with conventional drugs. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), could cause some 10 million deaths over the next decade and is thriving in theovercrowded prisons of the former Soviet Union.
As "Timebomb explains in unnerving detail, the virtual collapse of the world's borders means that refugees, tourists, immigrants, business travelers, and others can spread the TB bacillus very efficiently. London, for example, has experienced a 100% increase in reported cases in the past 10 years. Written by the world's preeminent TB expert and an award-winning medical and health writer, "Timebomb details the evolution and the current state of the MDR-TB epidemic, interweaving the science of MDR-TB with personal stories of people whose lives have been threatened by the deadly bacteria.
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"Timebomb is the extraordinary story of courage and cowardice in confronting the global epidemic.” -- ? Donna E. Shalala, Ph.D., former Secretary of Health and Human Services, President of the University of Miami
“For MDR-TB, several bombs have already exploded, in New York, in Russiaand elsewhere. We need to take the threat of a global MDR-TB epidemic seriously." -- Nils E. Billo, M.D. and M.P.H., Executive Director, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
“Lee Reichman tells it like it is and his warnings need to be heeded." -- John R. Garrison, Chief Executive Officer, American Lung Association
“The significance of Reichman’s work reaches far beyond the realm of public health." -- Nils Daulaire, M.D., M.P.H., President & CEO, Global Health Council
TB’S DANGEROUS SECRETS
Of the world’s six billion people, two billion are infected with latent TB, including 15 million in the United States.
There are 8.4 million new cases of active, usually infectious TB every year, and the number is growing.
TB kills 2 million people every year. More people will die of TB this year than any year in history.
Every TB death is unnecessary. TB is preventable and curable. When treated with appropriate antibiotics, even patients with drug-resistant TB can usually be cured.
TB is an airborne disease that usually affects the lungs. You get it by breathing. TB has already been spread on long air flights.
46% of US infections are foreign-borne.
TB is the leading infectious disease killer of adults, usually in their most productive years between 15 and 54.
TB kills more women than any cause related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Each person with TB infects up to 20 others before he or she is treated or dies.
The World Health Organization declared TB a global health emergency in 1993, the only time it has ever made such a declaration for any disease.
TB and AIDS are deadly twins. TB promotes progression of AIDS and AIDS promotes progression of TB. TB is the leading cause of death in people with AIDS.
A long but effective treatment regimen, endorsed by the World Health Organization, is used in 128 countries, but only 23% of TB patients actually get this treatment.
Bad treatment of TB leads to multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), which if not fatal, requires up to 2 years of very expensive treatment with often toxic drugs. Multi-drug resistant TB has already been found in 43 states and the District of Columbia.
Russia has the world’s worst multi-drug-resistant TB problem, focused in its over crowded prisons. Almost every prisoner is infected with TB and 100,000 have active, usually infectious TB. When released (often with no follow-up) they infect families and communities.
Russia continues to reject the global standard treatment for TB and relies on its 50-year old methods.
Multi-drug-resistant TB has already spread from Russia to the West.
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