Bird Flu and TB
Indonesia's health minister, Dr. Supari, says some Indonesian bird-flu virus samples were sent to a U.S. Defence Department laboratory, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, which is developing biological weapons.
Americans and Europeans should be deeply worried about TB.
At least a third of the world's population is infected with the TB bug, with at least 8.9 million developing TB each year.
The World health Organisation carried out a survey of TB in 79 countries. They found TB drug resistance in virtually every one of these countries.
In Kazakhstan, for example, 14.2% of new cases were of multidrug resistant TB. (BBC NEWS Health Drug resistant TB 'more severe')
Drug resistant TB develops when patients fail to complete a full course of treatment, usually because of a lack of money.
TB patients often have to take an 'expensive' cocktail of drugs for a year.
The big drug companies have spent very little money on developing TB drugs, partly because TB is mainly a disease found among poor people in poor countries.
In some poor countries, the governments have no idea how many poor people have TB.
In Indonesia, for example, many poor people cannot afford either diagnosis or treatment.
A person with drug resistant TB may live for several years before they die.
International Monetary Fund programs in countries such as Indonesia have typically reduced the availability of cheap medical care. (Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis)
What is the answer?
The USA and Europe should be spending many, many billions on trying to wipe out TB in poor countries.
Countries such as China, India, Indonesia and Russia have to spend much, much more on the health of the poor.
A poor person with TB should be able to get free treatment.
This helps Americans and Europeans by reducing the risk to their health.