Half a million more cases of TB in world than previously estimated

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A health worker dispensing tuberculosis medication. Credit: WHO/Marcus Garcia

New estimates of the tuberculosis (TB) burden reveal that there are half a million more cases of the disease than previously estimated.

That's according to the World Health Organization's 2014 Global Tuberculosis Report launched on Wednesday.

However, the mortality rate for TB is still falling and the number of people developing the disease is declining by an average of 1.5 per cent a year.

Dr Mario Raviglione is Director of the Global TB Programme for WHO.

"We now know that almost half a million more cases of disease are there than previously estimated. In essence, while last year we were reporting a level that was about 8.6 million now we go to 9 million of people who developed tuberculosis in 2013 and 1.5 million who died of tuberculosis including 360,000 of 1.5 million that are among people living with HIV."  (31″)

An investment in national surveys and routine surveillance by WHO and its partners has allowed for better data.

Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:   1’22″

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