Japan Declares TB Emergency
By Juliet Hindell
In Tokyo - BBC News

Many elderly Japanese have contracted TB while being treated in hospital for something else
Japan's health minister has declared a medical alert amid signs that infectious lung disease tuberculosis is on the increase.
TB has become Japan's number one infectious illness in recent years, and the country has one of the highest incidences in the industrialised world.
But this is the first time Japan has declared an emergency because of it.
While levels of infection are far lower than before and just after World War II, when TB was Japan's biggest cause of death, in recent years the disease seems to have made a comeback.
Low awareness
The latest figures available show that in 1997, the number of people who had TB rose to 42,715, an increase of 243 on the previous year.
But public awareness that TB is still a danger is extremely low.
The emergency declaration said that not only the general public but people who are engaged in medical treatment had an erroneous idea that TB is a thing of the past.
The declaration urges health centres to act quickly if new cases of TB occur.
It also asks medical associations and hospitals to improve treatment and methods to prevent the infections spreading in hospitals.
The rise in the disease has been particularly serious amongst elderly people, many of whom have become ill while being treated in hospital for something else.
The Health Ministry said there was no sign that TB was abating.