WHO: Tuberculosis most lethal infectious disease for 2016


While global efforts to reduce the prevalence of tuberculosis have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000, the bacterial infection remained the top infectious killer for 2016, according to the World Health Organization's Global Tuberculosis Report 2017.

To compile the report, researchers analyzed data on TB infections reported by 201 nations, which collectively account for 99 percent of the world's population. These nations reported 6.3 million new TB cases for 2016, an increase from the 6.1 million reported in 2015. TB also remained the top killer of people with HIV and the most common cause of death related to antibiotic resistance.

"While the world has committed to ending the TB epidemic by 2030, actions and investments don't match the political rhetoric," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, director-general of the WHO. "The good news is that we finally have two great opportunities to move forward: the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference to End TB in Moscow in 2017, followed by the first [United Nations] General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018. These will build momentum, get different sectors engaged and accelerate our efforts to make TB history."

TB is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infection occurs when someone with active TB transmits the bacteria to another person via coughing, speaking or singing.

To learn more about TB, click here.

More articles on infection control: 
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Top 10 infection control stories for October

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