Video link: Rapid Tb Test
Tuberculosis or TB is a bacterial infection.
St Joseph Family Medicine Doctor Kuy Houser said, "TB can kill you. So it's important to be able to find it and prevent spread of that."
"The really scary numbers are actually that one person dies every 15-20 seconds from TB world wide. And half of those are children, so you're talking about 1 to 2 children dying every minute," said Jeffrey Cirillo, with the Texas A&M College of Medicine.
Recently a man on a flight from Austin to Phoenix was thought to have exposed other passengers to TB. It was a scare because tuberculosis can take so long to detect, giving it time to spread.
Dr. Rajesh Harrykissoon with the College Station Medical Center said, "There's a risk that during that waiting that individual if they are infected are simply spreading it through their community. If they get on a plane and travel else where to another city or country they're taking it with them."
"We want to be able to get a definitive diagnosis right away and be able to prevent these types of additional transmissions," said Dr. Cirillo.
The new test will dramatically shorten the time to diagnose what's been called the world's deadliest disease, from several weeks to just a matter of minutes.
"Early diagnosis and treatment is the best option we have for eradicating TB and that's the goal is to eliminate and eradicate it from the globe," said Dr. Harrykissoon
Researchers are working to make the testing equipment less costly so it can be used anywhere in the world.
Economic issues and access to care are major problems fighting the disease.
Dr. Cirillo said, "So really be truly point of care, so where the people are that have this disease and also give them a result in a short amount of time so that they would be treated properly."
After more testing researchers will look to get the test approved for clinical use.
Reblogged from abc40 KRHD