Health Highlights: March 17, 2015

By on March 17, 2015

Health Highlights: March 17, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

New Test Improves TB Screening of Immigrants: CDC

Since 2007, a more sensitive test for tuberculosis has detected the infectious disease in nearly 2,200 immigrants and refugees bound for the United States who might otherwise not have been diagnosed with the illness, according to federal health officials.

With the sputum culture test, people cough deeply and spit material from their lungs into a container. The sample is placed in a culture dish and checked for TB bacteria growth, NBC News reported.

“These requirements have now been completely implemented in all countries with U.S.-bound immigrants and refugees,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said in a statement.

The agency said that between 2007 and 2012, nearly 2,200 immigrants or refugees who tested positive for TB with the sputum culture test would have gone undetected using the old, standard screening method, NBC News reported.

In 2013, about 9 million people worldwide became ill with TB, and about 1.5 million people died of the disease, according to the CDC . That same year, about 9,500 cases of TB were reported in the U.S., a 3.6 percent decline from 2012.

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