Although a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that multidrug-resistant tubercolosis (MDR TB) had infected 480,000 people worldwide in 2013, the overall number of TB cases is slowly declining.
TB remains one of the deadliest diseases in the world, the WHO's 19th Global Tubercolosis Report states.
"There has been some real progress, particularly in Asia, but the overall situation remains catastrophic,” Dr. Richard Chaisson, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research, said. “Improvements in some countries are offset by disastrous situations in others, with MDR TB, HIV-related TB, and continued high rates of missed diagnoses and deaths. The situation in Africa is particularly horrific, with TB killing more young people than any other cause."
The WHO report states that in 2013 there were 9 million new cases of TB reported in more than 200 countries.
Caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, TB is particularly rampant in crowded conditions such as prisons, refugee camps and slums. Symptoms of the deadly disease include chronic cough with blood in the sputum, fever, night sweats and weight loss.