Extensive drug resistance in TB is not a new phenomenon. It is created when patients with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) are treated with second-line anti-TB drugs but fail to be cured. The first principle in managing the risk of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is 'do not generate XDR-TB'. Once it is created, every effort must be made to prevent it from spreading. Health workers and care givers in long-term care facilities and prisons may have a considerable risk of exposure to TB, including XDR-TB. The principles in the control of TB transmission in healthcare settings, long-term care facilities and prisons include early identification and isolation of infectious TB patients, effective treatment of TB as soon as possible, environmental control with proper ventilation and personal protection of healthcare workers and others. Patients with the highest risk of developing XDR-TB are those MDR-TB patients who failed treatment using a second-line regimen and TB patients who have a history of contact with XDR-TB patients. The core principles in managing the risk of XDR-TB for health workers and care givers are reducing the risks of exposure to XDR-TB, becoming infected and developing XDR-TB. If TB has developed, the principles include promptly diagnosing XDR-TB and starting proper treatment.
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