Soundings

Like the plagues of Egypt

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7022.61 (Published 06 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:61
  1. George Dunea

    Twenty years ago it seemed that at last we had conquered most of the infectious diseases and would henceforth have to confine ourselves to treating the less dramatic degenerative ailments. More recently, however, excitement has come back into our lives as microorganisms, viral and bacterial, have struck back in concert like the plagues of Egypt. Foremost among these plagues is the HIV virus, filling our hospitals and medical journals and a potential threat to everybody.

    In the world at large an estimated five million people now have both HIV and tuberculosis. In Asia tuberculosis kills two million people each year and may kill seven times as many within 10 years. It …

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