WHO: Tuberculosis (TB) epidemic much worse than people think

TB is considered to be the world’s second most ruthless killer after HIV/AIDS. Hopes of eradicating it completely are experiencing a considerable setback: the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Wednesday that last year saw twice as many new cases appear than previously estimated.  The world’s preoccupation with the Ebola virus has eclipsed almost any attention to other health hazards. But the tuberculosis epidemic is now considered to be much more severe than before.

TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

The World Health Organization held a #TBchat yesterday to discuss Tuberculosis (TB). Our recent report shows #TBChat had 596 mentions over the past 24 hours.

Check out iTrend’s recent #TBChat report for keywords and retweets below (click on the image to expand view). The word cloud extracted from #TBChat conversations people had with WHO on Twitter mentions guidelines, treatment, and management, chemo, drugs and drug resistance, MDR.

The welcome tweet to the #TBchat by @WHO gained 82 retweets.

TBchat

Key facts about Tuberculosis

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.
  • In 2013, 9 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease.
  • Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and it is among the top 5 causes of death for women aged 15 to 44.
  • In 2013, an estimated 550 000 children became ill with TB and 80 000 HIV-negative children died of TB.
  • TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people causing one fourth of all HIV-related deaths.
  • Globally in 2013, an estimated 480 000 people developed multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB).
  • The estimated number of people falling ill with TB each year is declining, although very slowly, which means that the world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to reverse the spread of TB by 2015.
  • The TB death rate dropped 45% between 1990 and 2013.
  • An estimated 37 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2013.

 

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Posted in Analysis, health

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