GeneXpert system
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New machine gives accurate and quick TB diagnosis

Tuberculosis (TB) kills nearly two million people every year even though it is curable, and the numbers of people infected are increasing.

It currently takes between two and six months to make an accurate diagnosis and the longer the patient has to wait the more people can be infected.

American scientists have developed a molecular test which gives an accurate diagnosis within two hours. The GeneXpert system can also detect whether or not the strain of TB is drug-resistant, which is a growing problem. Patients with drug-resistant TB are given different drugs so it is vital to know early on.

The Health Show is broadcast on BBC World News on Saturdays at 1010 and 2010 GMT and on Sundays at 0710 and 2310 GMT. The programme is supported by the Gates Foundation.

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