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Independents' Day

Pertussis oral swab set to replace blood tests

The Health Protection Agency is developing an oral swab test for whooping cough in children.

It said they would eventually replace more invasive and time-consuming blood tests and would provide a better national picture of how common the condition is because they were easy to use.

The agency is also working on swab tests for syphilis, which would avoid the risk of needle stick injuries for health care staff testing HIV/AIDS patients and intravenous drug users.

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