5 facts you need to know about tuberculosis

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 26 Mar 2014 11:45 AM
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A cure for tuberculosis has been known for almost 90 years, yet almost nine million people contract the disease every year and it kills 1.4 million people annually. Even though the estimated number of people with TB is declining slowly, the disease is still second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer due to a single infectious bacterium or virus. Drug resistant TB is on the rise and present in almost every country, according to the World Health Organisation.

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  • TB is curable but still kills 1.4 mln people every year, with over 95% of deaths in low and middle income countries
    Source: WHO

  • An estimated 8.6 mln people fell ill with TB in 2012, but one third of them never received a diagnosis
    Source: WHO

  • It can take 2 years to treat drug-resistant TB and patients have to take up to 14,600 pills over that time, with potentially severe side effects
    SOURCE: Medecins Sans Frontieres

  • Drug-resistant TB is spreading. About 450,000 people developed drug-resistant TB in 2012, mostly in India, China and Russia

  • About 1/3 of the world's population has latent TB, which means they have been infected by TB bacteria. About 10% of those develop active TB

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