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Examining The Need For Effective Tools To Diagnose Typhoid

In the second post in a series in USAID’s “IMPACTblog” highlighting the agency’s work in global health, Stephen Baker and Jeremy Farrar of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Vietnam, write, “The lack of a robust, sensitive, and easy-to-use diagnostic test is one of the most serious barriers to the control and prevention of typhoid fever.” They continue, “The lack of effective diagnostics means it is more difficult to identify patients, provide effective treatment and prevent the disease from spreading, especially for drug-resistant typhoid,” adding, “For policymakers, ministries of health, and others, this lack of diagnostics obscures the true impact of the disease, and reduces the sense of urgency that is required to address it.” However, “[w]e don’t have to wait for next generation diagnostics to make a strong case that international organizations and national governments should invest in the control and prevention of typhoid,” they write, continuing, “Timely case identification and management with antibiotics has dramatically reduced case fatality rates, and access to clean water and basic sanitation will provide the best long-term solution” (5/2).