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China says it has 4.5 million TB patients

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BEIJING, Sep 04, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- China has 4.5 million tuberculosis patients, the second largest tuberculosis population in the world, the government's Xinhua news agency said Saturday.

Vice-premier Wu Yi Friday urged increased efforts to realize the country's goal of detecting at least 70 percent of new smear tested tuberculosis TB cases by 2005.

Of those 4.5 million, 1.5 million are infectious. The country sees 1.45 million new cases every year and 130,000 deaths.

She said more effort should be made to help medical workers diagnose new patients and ensure they take medication regularly. In the countryside, the central government is considering a large increase in funding to fight TB.

Presently, the central government allocates $4.8 million each year, mainly for medical treatment.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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