Drug-resistant TB found in Scotland

The UK's first case of extreme drug-resistant (XDR) TB has been diagnosed in Scotland.

The patient is being managed in Glasgow and all people who have been in close contact are being tested, said Dr Jim McMenamin from Health Protection Scotland.

'The risk to the rest of the population is nil,' he said.

'What is a commonly seen misconception is that XDR-TB is unable to be treated and this isn't the case.'

However, as patients may not respond or poorly tolerate first- and second-line treatments, XDR-TB may take 12-18 months to eradicate, double the usual time. The case coincides with a fall in the number of TB cases in the UK last year, according to the Health Protection Agency.

Provisional surveillance data show that in 2007, a total of 8,496 cases were reported, a 0.7 per cent decrease on the 2006 figure of 8,555.

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