Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) has caused outbreaks in displaced persons, presumably due to crowding or a frequently unrecognized case, especially in countries with limited diagnostic resources (Rutta et al., 2001; Connolly et al., 2004; WilderSmith, 2005). TB is endemic in most of the developing world and is particularly problematic in areas with high rates of HIV infection, where approximately half of those with tuberculosis have HIV and nearly half with TB have HIV infection. Also of concern is the MDR-TB and the more recently described extremely resistant form of tuberculosis (XDR-TB) (Gandhi, 2007), which presumably could lead to a devastating epidemic with crowding and undiagnosed cases. Nevertheless, TB has not been reported to be a major problem in most complex emergencies, and did not appear to be important in the tsunami case.

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