Facts about tuberculosis: HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria kill 6 million people every year; nearly 2 million deaths are caused by TB; TB is curable, but kills 5000 people every day.
TB is a disease of poverty; virtually all TB deaths occur in the developing world, affecting mostly young adults in their most productive years. TB especially affects the most vulnerable, such as the poorest and malnourished.
TB is a leading killer among HIV-infected people with weakened immune systems; a quarter of a million TB deaths are HIV-associated — most of them in Africa.
Global TB incidence is still growing at 1% every year because of the rapid increase in Africa; intense control efforts are helping incidence fall or stabilize in other regions.
2 billion people — one third of the world’s population — are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB. 1 in 10 people infected with TB bacilli will become sick with active TB in their lifetime; people with HIV are at a much greater risk.
TB is contagious and spreads through the air; if not treated, each person with active TB infects on average 10 to 15 people each year; TB is a worldwide pandemic; though the highest rates per capita are in Africa (29% of all TB cases), half of all news cases are in 6 Asian countries — Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Almost 9 million new TB cases occurred in 2004 — 80% of them in 22 countries; Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a form of TB that does not respond to the standard drug treatment. MDR-TB is present in virtually all 109 countries recently surveyed by WHO and partners
Observed annually on 24 March, World Tuberculosis Day (World TB Day) raises awareness about the global epidemic and efforts to eliminate a disease. Since WHO launched a global TB strategy in 1993, more than 50 million people have been successfully treated for this highly contagious disease, and 20 million lives saved.
In 1993, WHO declared the spread of tuberculosis a global public health emergency.
Within a decade, a strategy had been adopted in nearly every country in the world. The epidemic began a slow but steady decline.
Source: un.org | who.int