A patient swallows Tuberculosis (TB) medication in Delhi, India. The treatment for TB is a minimum 6 month course of combination antibiotics that must been taken everyday, otherwise fatal drug resistance can develop. The medication is free and provided by the government. TB is an infectious disease and a huge public health issue often associated with poverty. TB is completely curable, however TB rates are increasing and India suffers from the highest burden of TB in the world. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

In August of 2016, doctors in Washoe County, Nevada, found that one of their patients couldn’t shake a bad bacterial infection. The infection had likely taken hold years before while the local woman was on an extended visit to India. There, she had undergone multiple hospitalizations and surgery for a leg injury and developed a bone infection. By the time she got back to Nevada, the infection had spread.
The US doctors isolated her in a hospital room and threw all the antibiotics they could at the infection. It resisted all of them—26 in total, tests confirmed. In early September, the woman developed septic shock and died.
Though rare, the case highlights two important points: that drug-resistant bacteria don’t stop at borders and that India is of particular concern in the fight against antibiotic-resistant infections. While cases of drug-resistant bacterial infections are rising globally, recent data shows that India has among the highest …
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