Tuberculosis remains the most deadly infectious disease before aids

Tuberculosis remains the most deadly infectious disease before aids

According to the world health organization (WHO), tuberculosis is still the most deadly infectious disease in the world, ahead of the immunodeficiency virus aids.

1.6 million people died of tuberculosis in 2017, as reported by the WHO in its new annual report. According to the UN, the consequences of aids killed around 940,000 people in the same year. With antibiotics, tuberculosis is curable; without treatment, it can be fatal.

The tuberculosis report published in new york on tuesday estimates that ten million people worldwide contracted tuberculosis in 2017. Officially, the WHO recorded only 6.4 million cases of tuberculosis. But the estimate is much higher, because cases often go unreported or are misdiagnosed.

People infected with HIV are particularly susceptible to tuberculosis. Because of their weakened immune systems, they are at up to 50 times greater risk of contracting the disease. Tuberculosis infection can in turn accelerate the outbreak of aids. So the two diseases reinforce each other and are therefore considered a deadly duo.

Tuberculosis is sometimes referred to as a "poverty disease" because it is particularly widespread in structurally weak regions of africa, eastern europe and central asia. Two-thirds of new infections in 2017 were registered in india, indonesia, china, pakistan, bangladesh, nigeria, sud africa and the philippines.

In most countries, ending the disease known as TB is a "goal rather than a reality," the report says. Tuberculosis traps exist worldwide and in all age groups. Six percent of all cases reported in europe and north and south america. Around a quarter of the world’s population is infected with the bacteria in question, but only a small proportion of those infected also contract tbc.

But progress is also being made in the treatment of the disease. Between 2000 and 2017, an estimated 54 million TB patients escaped death thanks to treatment, WHO says. The mortality rate of those infected with the disease falls by around three percent per year.

A high-level meeting on tuberculosis is planned for next week in new york, on the sidelines of the un general debate. Heads of state and government, as well as other high-level representatives, will commit to the fight against the disease. Health ministers from around 70 countries announced in moscow in november that they would step up their efforts to eradicate the disease by 2030. WHO warns that not enough is being done to achieve this goal.