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WHO calls for TB action worldwide

Tuberculosis, the "world's most neglected epidemic," could kill four million

people a year within a decade unless Western countries put up $100 million to fight

it, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Worse, the agency warned: drug-resistant strains are increasing so rapidly that without

fast action, a disease once easily cured is on the verge of becoming incurable.

"The world procrastinated on aids. Don't let the same thing happen with tuberculosis,"

said Richard Bumgarner, deputy director of WHO's Tuberculosis Program.

Tuberculosis kills more people-three million a year-than all other infectious diseases

combined.

About one third of the world's population is infected with the germ and eight million

people get sick every year.

Yet just only one of every $30 spent on infectious diseases goes to the deadly lung

infection, WHO said. - AP

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