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New worldwide tuberculosis statistics emerge
10.18.2012According to the latest findings from the World Health Organization (WHO), tuberculosis (TB) affected 8.7 million individuals worldwide in 2011, and 1.5 of these cases resulted in deaths. According to Fox News, this marks a slight decrease in global TB cases reported in 2010, which totaled 8.8 million.
TB - characterized by fatigue, weight loss, fever, night sweats, and severe coughing - can be prevented with a vaccination. These treatments may be available at immediate care facilities and clinics that provide urgent care services.
Speaking to the BBC, WHO representative Mario Raviglione said global efforts to contain the airborne illness have prevented more than 20 million likely infections over the last 17 years. However, he said funding for programs combating TB is at precarious levels in low- and middle-income countries.
"The momentum to break this disease is in real danger," he told the news source. "We are now at a crossroads between TB elimination within our lifetime, and millions more TB deaths."
Up to $8 billion per year will be necessary to effectively treat TB in countries that don't fall into the high-income category between 2013 and 2015, according to estimates from the WHO. An additional $2 billion may be needed for research and development into ceasing the spread of TB.
The organization states that a new hurdle for preventive measures against the infection is the rise of a multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), a condition in which the most commonly used forms of TB vaccines are ineffective on patients. One out of five cases of TB that emerged in 2011 appeared to be MDR-TB, amounting to almost 60,000 cases worldwide. In China and India, the two nations where almost 40 percent of all TB cases were reported, less than one out of ten individuals with TB had MDR-TB. However, the WHO predicts that rate will increase during the next three years. Overall, 4 percent of instances of TB were deemed to be MDR-TB. About a quarter of global TB occurred in Africa, where the rate of TB-related death is also the highest.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides statistics showing that TB in the U.S. dropped more than 6 percent from 2010 to 2011, and the organization's data show that this is the weakest TB has been in the nation since 1953.
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