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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rediscovery could lead to earlier, more exact diagnoses

Rediscovery could lead to earlier, more exact diagnoses

"EXPERTS" did not believe us when we spoke of a huge TB epidemic two years ago.

With the evidence we have gathered from our laboratory work, our claims of a TB

epidemic are now undisputed.

We have also discovered a scientific fact

that was forgotten during the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the progress of child

health virtually eradicated TB as a scourge of the Western and industrialized

world.

During the last four months we realized that the thrombocytes

(blood plaques) in children with TB were significantly elevated.

Upon

checking all the modern literature on TB we found only one study mentioned

thrombocytes without giving it any special attention. A retrospective study in

South Africa on TB-meningitis said that 60 percent of all cases showed elevated

thrombocyte levels.

In all the great, modern textbooks on pediatrics or

infectious diseases nothing is written about thrombocytes in TB.

But in

one old European textbook that is no longer used we found our observations

confirmed: thrombocytosis is a sign of chronic infection, especially in

TB.

We find that 40 percent of all TB cases show this trend, because in

many cases where secondary diseases are present (typhus, malaria, dengue etc),

the thromobocyte level actually diminishes. When the secondary infection is

cleared, the thromobocytosis only then becomes visible.

In September, we

will begin studying every out-patient to see if this could be used as a simple,

inexpensive but exact screening for TB.

Hopefully, this could be used to

treat TB at a stage much earlier than the advanced, desperate level that we now

see at Kantha Bopha.

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