Current Events

The next epidemic

Health professionals are worried about the growing number of people with tuberculosis. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) website states that “in 1993 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared tuberculosis to be a global emergency.” The HPA reports the following TB statistics.

TB cases (thousands) TB infection rate per 100,000
Africa 2573 356
The Americas 363 41
Eastern Mediterranean 645 122
Europe 445 50
South-East Asia 2967 182
Western Pacific 1925 111

TB is even a growing problem in the UK. The Guardian (“Biggest rise in TB since 1999…“) reports that TB rates in the UK have increased 10.8% between 2004 and 2005. The regular version of Tuberculosis is preventable and treatable (see, but some people are not getting adequate care while others are infected with drug-resistant TB.