Saturday, May 19, 2012

Update - Dianne Summers

Following our postings on Dianne's illness, she has updated the  website with this thumbnail of how she is coping with the intensive bTB drug regime. (click News tab for the full account)
On April 12th 2012 Dianne started a nine month regime of a cocktail of drugs and was advised the side effects can be very unpleasant. 

"Unfortunately 8 days into the course I had severe side effects to the drugs which included severe all over body rash – blurred vision – faintness – severe headache and aching joints and had to seek emergency care on Sunday 22nd April. The drugs were stopped immediately and once again I had to go to hospital. I was then put on drugs to sort out the side effects and once they had cleared then the drugs could be reintroduced one at a time until we discover which drug caused the problem. "

As Dianne says, bTB (m.bovis)  in humans isn’t a quick fix – and it isn’t a case of 2 weeks of aspirin and you will be right as rain.

On April 29 I ended up back in hospital for 6 days because of a downturn in my condition. The drugs were reintroduced in a controlled environment and it was revealed I had an allergic reaction to Ethambutol. A new regime was set up and I have been on the new drugs for the past week. The side effects of the drugs are very difficult to cope with – total fatigue – dizziness – nausea to name but a few. The thought of feeling like this for the next nine months is pretty daunting
On 10 May I received a letter from H.P.A. in response to my constant requests asking why none of my contacts had been offered testing. The letter informed me that because I was culture positive but smear negative this meant I was not infectious to others and therefore none of my contacts would be offered tests. Only members of my family household would be offered: but as I live on my own this meant no one would be tested. It is a relief to me and no doubt to my contacts that they were not at any risk nor were my own animals.

On May 11th I was informed by my consultant that the spoligotype was the same as my herd from 2009. I had not helped any other herd with the same strain type as myself so at least we now know it was from my breakdown back in 2008/09. As stated earlier I had lost 8 only 6 of these had visible lesions and I took all the necessary precautions once I knew I had TB. We have many many owners who have lost far more infected alpacas then I have so the risk to them/us is huge and let’s not forget Vets and Shearers who are constantly exposed to risk .

The full script of Dianne's story and her fight with 'bovine' TB can be viewed on

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