A new target: Tuberculosis

After the World Health Organisation’s success in eradicating Smallpox and its ongoing efforts to reduce such diseases as malaria and polio to the same fate, it has set its sights on another target: Tuberculosis (TB). The WHO recently released a plan in which TB will be completely eradicated from 33 countries around the world. These 33 countries currently have low prevalence of the disease and include 20 European countries and 7 North American countries. By 2035, the aim is to have less than 10 new cases per million people, and by 2050 complete elimination is planned (less than 1 new case per million people).

 

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection (mycobacterium tuberculosis) which is spread by the inhalation of droplets in the air due to the sneezing or coughing of an infected person. The main area of the body that TB usually affects is the lungs, however can in practice affect anywhere in the body. The common symptoms of TB are as follows:

  • a persistent cough which lasts 3+ weeks that brings up phlegm (may be bloody)
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite

 

For more information on the WHO’s plan for TB eradication, visit here

For more information on TB, visit here

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