TB Rates Decrease, Drug-Resistant TB Rises

As reported last Thursday, March 21st 2013, TB is officially at its lowest numbers in the US since the 1950’s. Since 2011, the rates of infected TB have dropped by 6 percent, and since 200 have dropped by 40 percent.

Half of all current cases of TB have occurred in: Texas, California, New York, and Florida within homeless people (since this population do not have the adequate health means to fight off TB infections).

However, last November a Nepalese man was quarantined for being infected with a drug-resistant strand of TB. Over the past year 64 cases of this same drug-resistant strand of bacteria has been accounted for in the United States.

Medical professionals are now wondering if they have the means to deal with the drug-resistant strand of TB if future outbreaks occur. Currently medical professionals are stressing the use of sanitation within hospital as those are the only places where these drug-resistant strands have emerged from as of late. The best way to protect all staff is to encourage the use of medical gloves and the proper throwing away of them after each patient.

Things for new medical professional to remember about wearing gloves to keep themselves safe and or their other patients:

1. After touching other patients, do not touch your face, mouth, or uncovered skin with gloves on
2. Wash hands before putting gloves on
3. After taking gloves off, dispose of them in the proper receptacle, and then wash hands (up to elbows) again
4. Do not reuse the same gloves on the same patient as they could have new infections or you could have come into contact with old germs and potentially could infect them again
5. If uncertain about glove use, take gloves off, and wash your hands again

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