Katarina – Ukraine

Katarina first showed signs of TB disease when she was 18 years old. Both her sister and mother were sick with DR-TB at the time, and her father had been previously diagnosed with TB, but completed treatment.

When her sister was suffering from suspected DR-TB, Katarina accompanied her to Italy illegally.  Soon thereafter, Katarina too began to show signs of the illness. While visiting her sister at the TB center in Italy, Katarina was given a chest x-ray and it showed nodules in her lung. She was admitted to the TB department of the hospital in Italy where her sister was also receiving treatment. After being admitted to the hospital, Katarina was started on a treatment regimen with first-line drugs. A month later, a test result for Katarina’s sister confirmed DR-TB.  Following her sister’s diagnosis with DR-TB, the hospital physicians placed both Katarina and her sister on treatment regimens that contained second-line drugs required to treat DR-TB. After 19 months of therapy, Katarina was considered cured.

Although Katarina was in close contact with three family members suffering from DR-TB, she was never tested for TB in the Ukraine and only received proper diagnosis and treatment for DR-TB after she became an illegal immigrant in Italy.

Story Collected by: L. R. Codecasa, M. Ferrarese. Centro Regionale di Riferimento per la Tubercolosi. Ist. Villa Marelli, A.O. Niguarda. Milano.