New studies show that there are approximately 500,000 more cases of tuberculosis than was previously estimated.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) "Global Tuberculosis Report 2014" details how 9 million people developed TB last year and 1.5 million died, including approximately 360,000 individuals who were HIV positive.
“Following a concerted effort by countries, by WHO and by multiple partners, investment in national surveys and routine surveillance efforts has substantially increased,” WHO Director of the Global TB Program Dr. Mario Raviglione said. “This is providing us with much more and better data, bringing us closer and closer to understanding the true burden of tuberculosis.”
The report states that the death rate from TB is still falling and has actually dropped by 45 percent since 1990. The number of people developing TB is declining by approximately 1.5 percent a year, while 37 million people have survived TB through thorough diagnosis and treatment over the past 14 years.
Another aspect of the report shows that while an astounding number of lives are being lost to curable diseases, TB is the second biggest killer from one infectious agent. Approximately three million people stricken with TB are still misdiagnosed, or diagnosed but not reported.
A lack of funding is hindering worldwide efforts to fight the TB epidemic. An estimated $8 billion is needed each year, but there is currently a $2 billion shortfall.