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TB death rates falling - but millions still die

Thursday October 29th, 2015

Death rates from TB are falling - but new drugs, vaccines and diagnotic techniques are needed, according to the latest global analysis of the problem.

Some 1.5 million people died worldwide from the illness, nearly half the number in 1990, according to the World Health Organisation.

Since 2000, the incidence of the disease globally has fallen 18%, WHO said.

This was equivalent to 43 million lives saved through effective diagnosis and treatment.

WHO's annual report showed an increase in numbers diagnosed with the illness - some 9.6 million. WHO said this reflected improved reporting of the illness and analysis of unreported cases.

It says that 3.6 million victims were not diagnosed or reported to the authorities. And it believes that large numbers of patients with multi-drug resistant TB are not recorded. Some 123,000 were recorded but WHO believes there were 480,000 cases.

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said: "The report shows that TB control has had a tremendous impact in terms of lives saved and patients cured.

"These advances are heartening, but if the world is to end this epidemic, it needs to scale up services and, critically, invest in research.”

Tags: Respiratory | World Health

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