SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

WHO: TB on the rise in several countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported in its “Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report 2014" that the rate of TB is on the rise around the world.

The countries with the highest number of TB incidences per every 100,000 individuals are: Swaziland (1,382 cases), Lesotho (916 cases), South Africa (860), Namibia (651), Djibouti (619), Mozambique (552), Zimbabwe (532), Timor-Leste (498), Kiribati (497) and North Korea (429).

How the data is interpreted varies by country. For example, in the United Kingdom, the interpretation is set by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. There, countries or territories with an estimated TB incidence rate of 40 per 100,000 persons or greater are considered to have a high incidence of the disease. 

TB is caused by bacteria belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. TB usually affects an individual’s the lungs, and most transmissions occur from those with pulmonary or laryngeal TB.

TB is only transmitted by people and the bacteria cannot live in the environment. It is particularly common in prisons, refugee camps and slums because of the crowded conditions. It is also the second most common cause of death from infectious disease after HIV/AIDS.