Health

COVID will increase the number of deaths from tuberculosis for the first time in years. WGN Radio 720

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London (AP) — The number of people killed by tuberculosis has increased for the first time in more than a decade. This was primarily due to the fact that few people were tested and treated because of the diversion of resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

In an annual report on tuberculosis released Thursday, the United Nations Health Agency said last year that 1.5 million people worldwide died of bacterial disease. This is a slight increase from 1.4 million deaths in 2019. It is believed to have killed more people than any other infectious disease in history. Tuberculosis kills more people each year than AIDS and malaria.

WHO also said that far fewer people will be newly diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2020. 5.8 million compared to 7.1 million in 2019. It is estimated that about 4 million people suffer from tuberculosis but have not yet been diagnosed, up from 2.9 million in the previous year.

The disease is caused by bacteria that often infect the lungs and is more infectious for people who get sick from coughing or sneezing. About a quarter of the world’s population has latent tuberculosis infection. That is, they have bacteria, but they are not sick and cannot be infected. People who carry bacteria have a 5-10% chance of eventually developing tuberculosis.

Although the disease can be treated if detected early, the drug-resistant version is a complex treatment effort, and scientists are increasingly worried that bacteria will outpace readily available drugs. Countries with the highest cases of tuberculosis include India, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.

“Doctors Without Borders Access Campaign Diagnostic Advisor Stijn Deborggraev said in a statement that access to tests is restricted in many countries with high numbers of TB patients. Said that it has been.

He said Cepheid has received more than $ 250 million in public investment to develop tuberculosis testing technology and has failed to make it available to those who need it most. ..

The company said it made test cartridges “low margin” available to poor countries and “actively participates in the global fight against tuberculosis.”

WHO points out that global investment in TB’s efforts has declined, and global efforts to reach the goal of reducing the number of people affected by the disease are “more and more out of reach. It looks like it’s there. “

COVID will increase the number of deaths from tuberculosis for the first time in years. WGN Radio 720

Source link COVID will increase the number of deaths from tuberculosis for the first time in years. WGN Radio 720

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