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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Occurrence of TB
My friend has been infected with TB. She has been prescribed for medicines for 6 months. I want to know whether she will be completely cured after 6 or 9 months? Can she again get TB or not?
If the person you are referring to is on Isoniazid to treat latent TB infection, then the 6 months regimen is 75% effective in preventing TB in the future and the 9 month regimen is about 93% effective in preventing TB in the future, based on the studies done previously.
If the person you are referring to has active tuberculosis infection and is taking a standard course of 4 drugs to treat TB, the 6 month course has a relapse rate of about 5% (which means the infection returns in about 5% of patients) whereas the 9 month course has a relapse rate of about 2-3%.
The above numbers all assume that the person we are talking about has been infected with a strain of tuberculosis that is sensitive to standard TB medication, i.e. not drug resistant tuberculosis. Knowing the country of origin would help in determining the chance of drug resistant disease.
Catherine A Curley, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University