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October 2nd, 2008
03:52 PM ET

Tuberculosis running rampant in some Peruvian villages

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes us into a small village near Lima, Peru hospital where tuberculosis is running rampant.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Michael Tholen

    Despite the fact that this story shows the reality of TB in foreign countries and implicitly suggests that more must be done in these areas, I believe it deserves more coverage than one minute.

    In the U.S., we downplay Tuberculosis because it has more-or-less been eradicated from our society. Instead, we focus on diseases like cancer which, though devastating, only affect those who are allowed to live beyond the timeframe established by infectious diseases still running rampant throughout the world. The American public survives because it has the funds (sometimes but not all) to pay for drugs that cure infectious disease.

    Ability to pay is the major issue. TB is more prevalent in the third world only because families in these areas cannot pay for the treatments that easily cure or alleviate symptoms. Poverty is the number one cause of disease worldwide HANDS DOWN! We need to break barriers between not only State and Health Care Administration, but also need to break the barriers created by making medicine and pharmaceutical treatment a "business endeavor".

    The battle against infectious agents is one that involves all of the human race. If we fail to properly address the quick changes expressed by viruses and bacteria, the human race will quickly cease to exist. Can you imagine if Fleming hadn't discovered Penicillin? We probably wouldn't be around to consider it....

    Privatization of pharmaceutical companies has eroded the foundation of medical care– proper treatment of the patient.

    While explicitly making health care part of the public realm through universal health care may take heavy tolls on the economy and the "American Dream", we must consider that there is no dream to be had if the human race ceases to exist. The cessation of human life, at this point, will likely be due to our own ignorance about the power of infectious disease and pursuit of money.

    As I am only a 1st year med-student, I understand that there may be shortcomings, erroneous conclusions or comments etc. in the preceding script. Nonetheless, I beg the American and worldwide public to think more globally and altruistically when it comes to medical care.

    The dream of most is that their children's lives will be better than their own. Unless we act now... the lives for which we wish the best will be cut short.

    October 3, 2008 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Lauren

    Dr. Gupta, thank you for shedding light on this. We (the world) can't ignore this crisis, they are no different than we are. Suffering humans deserve our help and if you can put an adress onto this site I will contribute (wish I could do more). I'm cringing just looking at the picture on the screen just filled with dust and poverty and need, so reminiscent in its own terrible way to the pictures you used to see in the poorest coal towns in America from 100 years ago. Please coninue to tell us more about what is occuring in South America–we never seem to hear too much about our southern neighbors, reall, we dont! And that is just weird and wrong! What's happening in our society when we have more information about disasters across the ocean that we do those happening in South America!

    October 6, 2008 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Brett Knoss

    In Northern Saskatchewan, particularly around Lac La Ronge resitsnce to antibiotics were leading to widespread cases of tuberculosis. Health officials began a system of monetoring patients to ensure they continued anti-biotic treatment and have since brought TB under control.

    With TB antibiotic being slow acting it takes months maybe a year to kill the bacteria but patients feel better in days so they quite treatment and resistant streams evolve but if treatment is monitored it is maintained and all the bacteria is killed.

    December 12, 2008 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.