People who have spent time with someone sick with drug-resistant TB can become infected. If they have a positive skin test reaction, they may be given medicine to keep them from developing drug-resistant TB. This is very important for people who are at high risk of developing it, such as children and HIV-infected people.
Cases of drug-resistant TB have declined sharply in the United States over the past decade. In 2003, the most recent year for which there is resistance rate reporting, 114 individuals were reported with multidrug-resistant TB -- a 76.5 percent decline since 1993. Of these individuals, 28 were born in the United States, and 86 were born in other countries.
Multidrug-resistant TB is extremely difficult and costly to treat; it has been estimated that one case can cost up to $1.3 million.