The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, recently released a statement verifying the organization’s commitment to researching, preventing and treating tuberculosis.
The statement, published March 24 in honor of World TB Day 2016, shows the organization’s commitment to finding approaches that better prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. The scientists are dedicated to improving their research and understanding.
March 24 is World TB Day because this is the day in 1882 that German microbiologist Robert Koch announced his discovery of the bacterium causing TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This airborne disease typically infects the lungs.
The theme for World TB Day 2016 was “Unite to End TB.” The purpose is to applaud the worldwide research community that has made significant progress in decreasing TB death rates around the world.
Unfortunately, TB continues to be one of the deadliest diseases around the globe. Since 2000, incidence rates of the disease have fallen by 18 percent around the world. Still, in 2014, approximately 9.6 million people contracted the disease, including 1.5 million people who died from the illness. Most of these deaths occurred in developing nations.