Medicine: Preventing TB

When a mink gets TB, his veterinarian simply mixes some isoniazid with his daily horse meat. Last week the Public Health Service announced that isoniazid can be used to prevent tuberculosis in humans.

Isoniazid is a pill made from two ingredients: a form of isonicotinic acid, plus hydrazine, a liquid that has also been used for rocket fuel. Isoniazid has been used by doctors since 1952 to arrest tuberculosis, and has helped cut the TB death rate in the U.S. from 30,000 a year to 10,000. Suspecting that it might also work for prevention, PHS four years ago began a test in...

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