ABC News (10.23.2013)
London health officials are using a high-tech van equipped with an X-ray machine to seek out people with TB to reduce the city’s high TB rates—3,500 cases in 2012. A radiographer can read the X-rays instantly and, if necessary, the staff can call a hospital to arrange for confirmatory tests. The X-ray and results take approximately 90 seconds. The van has detected approximately one new TB case per week and screens approximately 10,000 people a year. According to Dr. Alistair Story, who runs the mobile TB van for University College London Hospitals, the majority of the UK’s TB patients are homeless, drug users, or prisoners who live in close conditions that make them susceptible to infections. Experts agree that the van is a good way of finding TB among the homeless, but are concerned that the country needs wider screening tests, particularly tests to find latent TB infection, which can later become infectious.