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Nine million people developed tuberculosis in 2013

25 Oct Xinhua

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a new report that 9 million people developed tuberculosis (TB) in 2013 and 1.5 million died from the disease.

The WHO's annual report, the Global Tuberculosis Report 2014, said the mortality rate from tuberculosis is still falling and has dropped by 45 percent since 1990, while the number of people developing the disease is declining by an average of 1.5 percent a year.It showed an estimated 37 million lives have been saved through effective diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis since 2000.

However, the report underlined that a staggering number of lives are being lost to a curable disease and confirmed that tuberculosis is the second biggest killer disease from a single infectious agent.

In addition, around three million people who fall ill from TB are still being missed by health systems each year either because they are not diagnosed, or because they are diagnosed but not reported.The report noted the multi drug-resistant tuberculosis crisis continues, with an estimated 480 000 new cases in 2013.

Worldwide, about 3.5 percent of all people who developed tuberculosis in 2013 had this form of the disease, which is much harder to treat and has significantly poorer cure rates.

It also estimated 1.1 million of the 9 million people who developed tuberculosis in 2013 were HIV-positive, with four out of five cases and deaths occurring in the African region.The report highlighted while the number of tuberculosis deaths among HIV-positive people has been falling for almost a decade, from 540,000 in 2004 to 360,000 in 2013, antiretroviral treatment, preventive therapy and other key interventions still need to be further scaled-up.

The WHO report will be presented and discussed during the upcoming Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, Spain next week.

 

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