Monday, 8 March 2010
Public health issues: TB - a modern day disease
Much of the increase is among older Japanese, who were presumably infected as children and are now starting to show symptoms. Increases are also being seen in younger people with karaoke boxes and internet cafes are being considered likely incubators.
Karaoke boxes are very small, relatively airless rooms where people go to sing karaoke with their friends. Internet cafes also tend to be very small individual rooms. Both are cheap places to stay over night - less than $10 - and are popular with homeless and other malnourished people. The tight spaces, crowded conditions and also the disinclination of people to take time off work when they are run down are all considered to be factors contributing to the spread. The increase in antibiotic resistant strains hasn't helped.