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Probe highlights risk from South Africa's drug-resistant TB

Published on Jan 17, 2014 10:07 AM

PARIS (AFP) - A long-term probe has found that South Africans with highly drug-resistant TB are "systematically" discharged from hospital without being cured, placing themselves and others at risk, its authors said on Friday.

"Treatment failure and discharge of such patients into the wider community is occurring systematically on a country-wide level," said Keertan Dheda, a University of Cape Town professor of pulmonology who led the study.

Experts have long warned that patients with drug-resistant TB who are released without support have a low chance of survival - and may also infect others with the dangerous germ.

But the extent of the problem has not been known, until now.

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