It wasn’t very long ago that diseases like diptheria and polio killed and disabled millions of American children. And while those illnesses have been virtually eradicated in this country, tuberculosis remains a rare but real threat.
According to state health officials, TB cases in Massachusetts are down from 215 in 2012, to 201 last year. The news is not all good, though. Of those 201 cases, seven of them were multi-drug resistant, making them more difficult to treat. That’s more than state officials have ever recorded.
That worrisome trend is mirrored in the findings of a global study of childhood TB, just released by Harvard and Brigham and Women’s, and it’s brought into living color in the tonight’s Frontline documentary “TB: Silent Killer.”
- Mercedes Becerra is an associate professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School and one of the study’s authors.