Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB)
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Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is spread
TB primarily attacks the respiratory system (lungs) although it can attack other organs as well. The symptoms of TB include fever, night sweats, weight loss, chest pain, and coughing. See the OSH Answers fact sheet on Tuberculosis for more information.
Tuberculosis can become resistant if a patient is not treated long enough, doesn't take prescribed medications properly, or doesn't receive the right drugs.
In addition to the increased difficulty in treating the disease, the patient remains infectious longer increasing the risk to the public and to healthcare workers.
MDR-TB also appears in association with HIV infection and AIDS, further compromising the health and the immune system of these patients. HIV itself does not increase the chance of drug resistance. HIV does accelerate the progression of TB infection into active TB disease.
The Government of Canada states that "For most Canadians, the risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) is very low. Still, there are about 1,600 new cases of TB reported in Canada every year, so it is important to know the symptoms and how to minimize your risk."
The Public Health Agency of Canada noted that of the
Although drug-resistant TB has not yet been identified as a major problem in Canada, the potential exists due to the increase of international travel.
The World Health Organization reports that "Globally in
The Public Health Agency of Canada advocates the use of directly observed therapy (DOT). Along with the proper prescription of drugs,
The Government of Canada's website has a series of documents on Tuberculosis. From this site, the Canadian Tuberculosis Standards (
- Fact sheet last revised: 2023-03-15