Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR TB)

Quick GuideBacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

Bacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments

Who is at risk for getting XDR TB?

Drug-resistant TB (MDR or XDR) is more common in people who:

  • Do not take their TB medicine regularly

  • Do not take all of their TB medicines as told by their doctor or nurse

  • Develop active TB disease again, after having taken TB medicine in the past

  • Come from areas of the world where drug-resistant TB is common

  • Have spent time with someone known to have drug-resistant TB disease

How can I prevent myself from getting TB?

Avoid close contact or prolonged time with known TB patients in crowded, enclosed environments like clinics, hospitals, prisons, or homeless shelters.

Can the TB vaccine (BCG) help prevent XDR TB?

There is a vaccine for TB disease called Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG). It is used in some countries to prevent severe forms of TB in children. However, BCG is not generally recommended in the United States because it has limited effectiveness for preventing TB in adults. The effect of BCG against XDR TB would likely be similar to the effect on drug-susceptible TB.

If I have regular (drug-susceptible) TB, how can I prevent getting drug-resistant TB?

The most important thing is for you to continue taking all your TB medicines exactly as prescribed. No doses should be missed and treatment should not be stopped early. You should tell your health care provider if you are having trouble taking the medications. If you plan to travel, make sure you have enough medicine to last while away.

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