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Mask sampling can help detect tuberculosis in kids

A city-based organization has found that bacteria can be detected from the respiratory aerosols collected on face masks.

Mask sampling can help detect tuberculosis in kids
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In recent developments, a city-based organization has found that bacteria can be detected from the respiratory aerosols collected on face masks.

This means that through mask sampling, experts from the Foundation for Medical Research (FMR) could pick up tuberculosis in nine of the ten studied samples. This study was presented on Thursday in a virtually held conference which gathered much interest as sampling remains to be one of the most difficult challenges in detecting pediatric tuberculosis.

This study by FMR was carried on 10 children who were asked to wear N95 masks containing a gelatin membrane (used to capture airborne microbes) for ten minutes during which they were asked to read, recite, talk, cough and take tidal breaths.

Tuberculosis is usually caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, however, the bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, tuberculosis could prove to be fatal for an individual.

Earlier the WHO provided a global update on the state of Tuberculosis and the fight against the disease, which is both preventable and curable. However, the report painted a grim picture as the disease still remains a public health crisis. Just eight countries, India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa account for two-thirds of the world’s TB cases.

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