An Australian Reader Writes About Immigration and Fatal TB
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From:  Steven Meyer in Melbourne, Australia.

"....the rise in the west [of extremely drug-resistant Tuberculosis] is mainly among immigrants, whose latent infections turn active with the stress of emigration and poverty in a new land. It is this group that accounted for the UK's record 10 per cent rise in cases between 2004 and 2005, and for most new cases in the US, although the total number of cases there is stable." (Emphasis added) [Extreme TB: the white plague, New Scientist, March 22 2007]

I think you should pay some attention to the above mentioned article in New Scientist.

Extreme drug resistant or "XDR" TB is an often fatal disease. Worse, doctors are now seeing cases of TB that are resistant to all current antibiotics. Such cases are inevitably fatal.

TB, unlike, say, AIDS, can be transmitted without intimate contact. More quotes from the New Scientist article:

"If MDR and XDR circulate that readily, they could pose a much greater risk to people than ordinary TB. Gao says his work shows the importance of strict quarantine. 'We cannot wait to implement measures to block transmission,' he warns."

"Perhaps the first known case of completely drug-resistant TB will help galvanize global concern. There must be others - perhaps the person sitting next to you on that plane. The Italian case, says Raviglione, 'is probably just the tip of the iceberg'.

Screening for latent TB is difficult. Even legal immigrants could pose a danger. In the case of illegals, of course, there is no hope of imposing any sort of quarantine.

See also this press release from Doctors without Borders: XDR-TB Emergency Will Require New Strategies and New Tools: Business As Usual Would Be Fatal

And see this

"Foreign-born New Yorkers accounted for 672* new diagnoses of TB last year," [Tuberculosis Continues To Decline In New York City, New York City Health Department, Mar 27 2007]

* Out of a total of 984 +- 70 percent!

Stephen Meyer's previous letters can be seen here.

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