CDC recommends new treatment for latent tuberculosis

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended a new 12-week-long treatment for latent tuberculosis, which is easier to carry out and as effective as existing treatments.

The standard treatment for latent tuberculosis, an asymptomatic version of the respiratory infection, involves nine months of daily doses of the antibiotic isoniazid. Experts say only 60% of patients complete the medication regime.

A CDC report says studies have shown that 12 weekly doses of isoniazid with another antibiotic, rifapentine, is equally as effective under the supervision of a healthcare worker.

Experts say that roughly 11.2 million Americans have latent tuberculosis infections. CDC researchers say they are targeting prevention efforts to high-risk populations, such as the elderly, healthcare workers, and those with underlying conditions such as diabetes, the New York Times reports.
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