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News Outlets Highlight World TB Day

In recognition of World TB Day, which takes place annually on March 24, news outlets report on the progress and challenges surrounding the disease.

Al Jazeera: Tuberculosis makes a comeback
“… TB kills 1.3 million people per year — more than any other infectious disease apart from HIV/AIDS. It’s caught by breathing in Mycobacteria tuberculosis, and is usually treated with a six-month course of antibiotics. But for many people, these decades-old drugs have simply stopped working. … The highest levels of resistance are concentrated in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where in some countries more than 20 percent of new cases and 50 percent of previously treated cases are multi-drug resistant (MDR)…” (Rowley, 3/24).

New York Times: China Cuts Tuberculosis Cases by More Than Half Since 1990
“China has cut the prevalence of tuberculosis by more than half since 1990 thanks to the widespread implementation of a World Health Organization-backed control strategy, according to a new research paper. The findings, which were published this week in The Lancet medical journal, found that the prevalence of tuberculosis had dropped to 59 cases per 100,000 in 2010 from 170 cases per 100,000 in 1990…” (Ramzy, 3/21).

Prensa Latina: Tuberculosis, a Major Cause of Death in L.Am and Caribbean
“Tuberculosis is still a major cause of death in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a report from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)…” (3/23).

Reuters: Poor diagnosis driving global multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, WHO warns
“Half a million people fell sick with dangerous superbug strains of tuberculosis (TB) in 2012, but fewer than one in four were diagnosed, putting the rest at risk of dying due to the wrong medicines or no treatment at all…” (3/20).

VOA News: TB is Number One Killer in South Africa
“As the world observes World TB Day on March 24 to raise awareness of the fight against tuberculosis, South Africa is struggling to conquer its top killer. Activists say more focus is needed on poor communities as drug resistant strains take hold and wreak havoc. With 80 percent of the country’s young adults already infected with TB, health experts say there is no time to lose…” (Khumalo, 3/21).

VOA News: TB Treatment Sees Progress, Setbacks
“There’s good news and bad news to report for World TB Day, March 24. The good news: there are new drugs, new tests and a promising vaccine being developed. The sobering news: drug resistance is common and health officials are calling a multi-drug resistant variety of TB ‘a global threat.’…”(Pearson, 3/24).

Xinhua: 30 pct TB cases undiagnosed annually: WHO
“Some 30 percent or three million of the nine million people who develop tuberculosis (TB) every year in the world are ‘missed’, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Western Pacific Region said here Saturday…” (3/22).

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