India’s incurable TB

A dozen cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis reported in Mumbai

Strains of tuberculosis completely resistant to antibiotics have been reported in India for the first time.

Patients infected with the lung disease, which is the world’s second-deadliest disease after HIV, are typically cured after six to nine months of antibiotic treatment, according to BBC News. However, doctors in Mumbai, India, have reported 12 patients have contracted an incurable form of the disease totally resistant to a wide array of drugs. All of the patients came from a slum area of the city, where close quarters means disease spreads quickly. Three of the patients have already died.

This is not the first time drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis have appeared—similar cases have been reported in Italy and Iran, where outbreaks have been documented in impoverished areas since 2003. Such cases are often the result of patients not finishing their lengthy treatment period, which allows the bacteria to battle back and mutate into a tougher strain