WHO says TB no 1 infectious killer disease, India situation grim

By NL Team

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The World Health Organization on Monday put out its 2017 Global Tuberculosis Report, which, according to the global health outfit, is the world’s no 1 infectious killer, surpassing HIV/AIDS. India has the most TB and most multi-drug-resistant TB numbers. India and six other countries account for 64 per cent of the world’s TB burden.

Though it is the world’s ninth leading cause of death, TB is growing so rapidly that any attempt to stop its spread isn’t fast enough to make a major difference.

A report said in 2016, 10.4 million people fell sick with TB, and about 1.7 million people — including 400,000 with concomitant HIV — succumbed to the deadly infection.

“There are seven countries that are responsible for the majority of the cases of tuberculosis,” WHO Global TB programme director Dr Mario Raviglione was quoted as saying. “They are India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa. These seven countries are responsible for 64 percent of the world burden. Nearly two-thirds of the cases,” he said.

Most deaths from TB can be prevented with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, said Raviglione, but most people eligible for preventive treatment simply aren’t accessing it, and drug-resistant TB is a continuing threat.