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The Next Thing to Worry About: Drug-resistant Tuberculosis Plague

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There's no shortage of things to get your stomach in knots over, but just in case you were casting about in search of something fresh, researchers have found a "totally drug-resistant" strain of tuberculosis in South Africa that could kill an unspecified (but potentially large) number of people if it spreads unchecked. One virulent strain of TB broke out in New York in the 1980s and killed 90 percent of the people who contracted it. It's not clear if this current strain packs a similar punch, but researchers are reportedly working over time to study and contain it.

Besides from the obvious public health consequences, a recent report in Reuters noted that a global pandemic would cost the global economy billions. China took a $14.8 billion hit from the SARS virus, which also reduced global GDP by $33 billion, according to the World Bank. Let's hope it doesn't come to that...

(AP Photo)