Extraordinary Focus on a Minor Enemy
First case of highly drug-resistant TB found in US By MARGIE MASON AND MARTHA MENDOZA The Associated Press Sunday, December 27, 2009; 8:14 AM LANTANA, Fla. -- It started with a cough, an autumn hack that refused to go away. Then came the fevers. They bathed and chilled the skinny frame of Oswaldo Juarez, a 19-year-old Peruvian visiting to study English. His lungs clattered, his chest tightened and he ached with every gasp. During a wheezing fit at 4 a.m., Juarez felt a warm knot rise from his throat. He ran to the bathroom sink and spewed a mouthful of blood. I'm dying, he told himself, "because when you cough blood, it's something really bad."
It was really bad, and not just for him.
Doctors say Juarez's incessant hack was a sign of what they have both dreaded and expected for years - this country's first case of a contagious, aggressive, especially drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. . . .
Today, all the leading killer infectious diseases on the planet - TB, malaria and HIV among t…