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Who Treats TB Best?

Health Newsfeed # 1246

There was a time when tuberculosis "consumption"- it was called back then, was so common that most doctors certainly recognized it, even if they couldn't treat it very well.

Modern medicine brings an ironic twist. These days we can treat TB with powerful drugs, but it's become rare enough that many doctors don't get the treatment quite right. A new Johns Hopkins study finds that outcomes are much better when a tuberculosis patient is treated by a public health doctor, as opposed to a physician in private practice. Senior author Dr. Richard Chaisson says the reason is simple: public health doctors see many more cases of TB.

They're very experienced. They do this every day. They also have a system set up to follow and monitor patients very closely to look for the reaction and response to therapy. And therefore, they ultimately do a much better job. :13

Effective treatment for tuberculosis generally involves four drugs over a course of six months. The study concludes that patients are likelier to receive right mix at a public health clinic.

At the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, I'm Tom Haederle reporting.

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