Thursday, March 25, 2010

World TB Day: 10 facts about TB

1. Mantoux test is done to identify patients who are infected with the tuberculous infection; they may or may not have the disease. This test is also used as a public-health measure to detect infection in patient's family and friends.
2. Kinyoun stain shows presence of mycobacteria in sputum sample.

Fact 1

Tuberculosis (TB) is contagious and spreads through the air. If not treated, each person with active TB can infect on average 10 to 15 people a year.

Fact 2

More than two billion people, equal to one third of the world’s total population, are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB. One in every 10 of those people will become sick with active TB in his or her lifetime. People living with HIV are at a much greater risk.

Fact 3

A total of 1.77 million people died from TB in 2007 (including 456 000 people with HIV), equal to about 4800 deaths a day. TB is a disease of poverty, affecting mostly young adults in their most productive years. The vast majority of TB deaths are in the developing world, with more than half occurring in Asia.

Fact 4

TB is a leading killer among people living with HIV, who have weakened immune systems.

Fact 5

There were 9.27 million new TB cases in 2007, of which 80% were in just 22 countries. Per capita, the global TB incidence rate is falling, but the rate of decline is very slow - less than 1%.

Fact 6

TB is a worldwide pandemic. Among the 15 countries with the highest estimated TB incidence rates, 13 are in Africa [Nigeria has the highest burden in Africa], while half of all new cases are in six Asian countries (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines).

Fact 7

Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a form of TB that does not respond to the standard treatments using first-line drugs. MDR-TB is present in virtually all countries surveyed by WHO and its partners and is at record levels now.

Fact 8

There were an estimated 511 000 new MDR-TB cases in 2007 with three countries accounting for 56% of all cases globally: China, India and the Russian Federation. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) occurs when resistance to second-line drugs develops. It is extremely difficult to treat and cases have been confirmed in more than 50 countries.

Fact 9

WHO’s Stop TB Strategy aims to reach all patients and achieve the target under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG): to reduce by 2015 the prevalence of and deaths due to TB by 50% relative to 1990 and reverse the trend in incidence. The strategy emphasizes the need for proper health systems and the importance of effective primary health care to address the TB epidemic.

Fact 10

The Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015, launched January 2006, aims to achieve the MDG target with an investment of US$ 67 billion. This represents more than a three-fold increase in investment from 2005. The estimated funding gap is US$ 40 billion.

Fact 11

You can help stop TB by donating to Organizations that work with TB patients, you can encourage a TB patient to persevere with his/her treatment. You can practise safe sex [Abstinence, Being Faithful, Use of Condoms] as this reduces your chances of getting infected by HIV/AIDS which reduces your immunity to TB.
Culled from WHO | 10 facts about tuberculosis

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