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South African Officials Isolate Woman With Deadly TB Strain


South African health officials say they have isolated a woman who has a new, deadly strain of tuberculosis.

The Gauteng province health department says the woman was recently diagnosed with so-called extreme drug-resistant TB at a Johannesburg hospital. That strain has been blamed for more than 50 deaths in South Africa's Kwazulu Natal province.

Officials say the woman was informed of the seriousness of her illness, but she initially refused further hospitalization. Authorities Wednesday sent an ambulance to the woman's home and convinced her to return to the hospital for treatment.

The provincial health department said that patients have a right to refuse medical treatment, but that officials must protect the public's health.

Tuberculosis is a contagious disease that is spread through the air. The World Health Organization says each untreated person with active TB disease will infect 10 to 15 people, on average, every year.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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