- LONDON (Reuters) - The international community must provide $100 million
to prevent drug-resistant tuberculosis, or "ebola with wings,"
in Russia from spreading around the world, according to a British medial
- "It is only a matter of time before
drug-resistant tuberculosis from Russia becomes a daily reality in other
countries worldwide," Dr. Nicolas Banatvala, of the Medical Emergency
Relief International (MERLIN) said in a statement.
- "Multidrug resistant TB is a deadly
airborne infection: it has been called 'ebola with wings'."
- The medical charity said the current
levels of drug-resistant TB in Russia were terrifying and the economic
crisis would exacerbate the problem.
- "We are calling on the world community
to provide $100 million to control tuberculosis in Russia. This cost is
small compared to the loss of life and economic damage on a global scale
that could happen if drug-resistant tuberculosis in Russia is not addressed
now," Banatvala added.
- MERLIN said a shortage of anti-TB drugs
in Russia would lead to substandard treatment which would increase drug
- Tuberculosis was nearly wiped out earlier
this century, but the disease is re-emerging in some rich countries. Almost
three-quarters of the world's sufferers are in Asia, with India the worst
- The disease kills about three million
people each year.