UN health agency endorses rapid TB test: spokesman

08:24, December 10, 2010      

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed a rapid new tuberculosis (TB) test which the UN agency said could revolutionize care and control of the disease, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here Wednesday.

"The test provides an accurate diagnosis in about 100 minutes, compared to current tests that can take up to three months for results," the spokesman said at a daily news briefing.

"Evidence points to a three-fold increase in diagnosis of patients with drug-resistant TB if the new test is implemented, WHO says," he said.

TB is a common and often deadly infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria. It usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have the disease cough, sneeze, or spit.

Most infections in humans result in an asymptomatic, latent infection, and about one in 10 latent infections eventually progresses to active disease, which, if left untreated, kills more than 50 percent of its victims.

Source: Xinhua


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