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Timebomb: The Global Epidemic of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 26 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:245
  1. David Mitchell, respiratory physician
  1. St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London

    Lee B Reichman with Janice Hopkins Tanne

    McGraw-Hill, £18.99, pp 240

    ISBN 0 07 135924 9

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    Wars and famines come and go but tuberculosis is a consistent and important fixture for humanity. A third of all people are infected at some stage during their lives. For tuberculosis, the paradox is that although it is quite easy to diagnose and treat, it is an increasing global scourge and the leading cause of death from any chronic infectious disease. Why is this, when effective treatments are available?

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    The reasons relate to geopolitical, socioeconomic and health resource factors. HIV and AIDS further aggravate the situation. In the West people thought that TB was in terminal decline until the mid-1980s when numbers in the United States started to rise. Now TB …

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