Too many people in the United States still suffer from tuberculosis (TB). Many people think that tuberculosis (TB) is a disease of the past – an illness that no longer threatens us today. The CDC has a series of 35 videos (varying in length) that cover many issues about TB, including personal stories. Learn more about TB and how clinicians, health care agencies, and communities are working together to eliminate TB. The virst short video, 5 Things to Know About TB, highlights the continuing problem of TB in the U.S. and encourages people to take action by visiting the CDC TB website and getting tested for TB infection if they are at risk.
Exposed: The Race Against Tuberculosis
After returning home from a trip to South Africa, Natalie felt ill. Initially diagnosed with pneumonia, her doctors later determined she had MDR TB, or multi-drug resistant TB, a dangerous strain of TB that does not respond to typical treatment. This excellent, comprehensive four-part series from Aeras blends moving personal stories like Natalie’s with expert commentary. When a vaccine was found, society and science got complacent about TB for at least four decades, but its back on the rise and is a worldwide epidemic. Today over 1,000 people die every day from TB. Over 1/3 of the world’s population carries the bacteria and of those, 1 in 10 will become infected. Of those infected, they will infect 10-15 people. And with strains like MDR TB on the rise, this disease is getting harder and more expensive to treat. This series packs a lot of information in an engaging format.
Chapter 1: The Global Epidemic
Chapter 2: Rise of a Superbug
Chapter 3: The Innovation Movement
Chapter 4: The Last Mile
Untreatable Tuberculosis Raises Concerns in India
India has more TB patients than anyone in world and this Wall Street Journal focuses its report there. The video opens with the story of a family in India who has lost their third child in less than two years, all to XDR TB, or Extremely Drug-Resistant TB. According to TB expert, Dr. Udwadia, XDR TB results from poorly treated TB. As he explains, when TB is not treated correctly, it can spiral into MDR TB. When health professionals make errors in treating MDR TB, it can lead to XDR TB. While India plans to double spending on TB treatment, with over two million TB patients, there are worries it will not be enough. (00:03:56) | 2012
Humankind has been fighting TB for millennia; it’s been mentioned in writings dating back to ancient civilizations, and its devastating effects have appeared in books and paintings throughout history. This video, a slideshow set to music, is chock full of just such facts about TB. In addition, practical information such as means of transmission, the various symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, and methods of prevention are presented. With 5,000 people world-wide dying every day of this disease, awareness is paramount. (00:05:40) | 2011
This video opens with a distraught 27-year-old mother with MDR TB who has been kicked out of her home because of her diagnosis. She has no funds to pay for the drugs she needs. And she’s not alone – there are 2 TB-related deaths every 3 minutes in India and though the government offers free TB drugs, they are not effective for all strains. For those with strains like MDR, the drugs are very expensive and oftentimes, patients are unable to pay. The social stigma of TB is discussed. In India, that stigma is especially harsh for women who may be kicked out of their homes and have trouble marrying. (00:06:20) | 2010
For so long, the only tools available to diagnose TB were decades old and took up to two months to accurately determine the strain of TB the patient had and that they had it at all. As this segment from ABC News reports, there’s finally a new tool available – the Gene Xpert. The Gene Xpert, originally made to diagnose anthrax, can diagnose TB in as a little as two hours. The young girl introduced at the beginning of this story, a potential TB victim, was cleared by the Gene Xpert in 90 minutes and left with a diagnosis of a common cold.
Winnie Fernandes underwent surgery for what doctors suspected was cancer in her abdomen. While under, doctors found a bacteria they didn’t expect – TB. This video from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention explores extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Less discussed than pulmonary TB, which starts in the lungs, extrapulmonary TB affects other parts of the body. Extrapulmonary TB can be hard to diagnosis because doctors aren’t looking for it but in 2011, of the 72,000 TB patients in Europe, 1 in 5 had extrapulmonary TB. Doctors stress that awareness is key – not only public awareness, but among the medical community. (00:10:34) | 2013
This video from the Global Tuberculosis Institute at Rutgers University discusses screening for Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI). It covers targeting testing, high risk groups and testing methods. (00:09:55 minutes) | 2020
This video from the Global Tuberculosis Institute at Rutgers University is the second in a series of videos for primary care providers. In this video, you’ll learn about diagnosing latent tuberculosis infection, also called LTBI. It compares TB infection and TB disease, discusses testing methods, including IGRAs, and special circumstances and medical evaluation. (00:15:30 minutes) | 2020
Compared to the general population, TB disease and infection are more common among substance users and the homeless. This webinar explores successful and innovative approaches to working with these two hard-to-reach groups. Experts from the region shared hands-on experiences and practical tools that can improve case management, treatment outcomes, and contact investigations. (1:24:21 hrs) | 2015