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Nokubheka, 12, had to move away from her family and into a hospital for treatment against drug-resistant tuberculosis. (Screenshot from PBS/YouTube)

A 'Silent Killer' Returns: Live Chat With Filmmaker On Fighting TB

by Michaeleen Doucleff
Mar 26, 2014

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The world has a new epidemic on its hand: drug-resistant tuberculosis.

We're not talking about the kind of TB that doctors can cure with a few weeks of standard antibiotics.

This disease is way more dangerous. It outwits the best medicines we have against it and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to kill in a single person.

Drug-resistant TB is on the rise around the world. And it's even cropping up here in the United States.

Last night PBS's Frontline traveled to the epicenter of this new epidemic, the southern African country of Swaziland, in the film "TB Silent Killer." Through the eyes of three people fighting the disease, the documentary explored the toll drug-resistant TB takes on families and societies. And it shows what could happen in many countries if new drugs or vaccines aren't developed.

So what can be done to curb drug-resistant TB? How quickly can the disease spread? And how much will it cost us to stop it?

Today Shots is teaming up with Frontline to host an online panel discussion with the film's director, Jezza Neumann. We'll answer these questions and others that you may have about the film and TB. The panel will also include Doctors without Borders TB adviser Grania Brigden, and Joanne Carter, the executive director of the nonprofit Results.

The chat starts here at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Send us questions at shots@npr.org or ask us on Twitter at @NPRGlobalHealth using the hashtage #TBSilentKiller. Then look back here to read the whole panel discussion.

We hope that you'll join us!

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