MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 17) - Health authorities in the Marshall Islands say a new study will help assess the extent of tuberculosis infections in the country’s remote outer atolls, and confirm whether the disease is spreading.

The United States Centers for Disease Control is collaborating with the Marshall's ministry of health in an effort to determine what level of response is needed.

Officials say better information about the prevalence of TB will help in the formulation of treatment programs, and distribution of resources in US-affiliated Pacific islands.

An official at the CDC also says Hawaii, as first port of entry to the U.S. from the Marshall Islands, and which has a significant population of Marshall Islanders, is being affected by TB-infected islanders.

February 17, 2003

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