March 22, 2007


TB infection rate may be on 'threshold of decline' (Thomas H. Maugh II and Jia-Rui Chong, March 22, 2007, LA Times)

For the first time in modern history, the rate of infections in the global tuberculosis epidemic has leveled off and may be on the "threshold of decline," the World Health Organization announced today.

The percentage of the world's population struck by TB peaked in 2004 and then held steady or even declined in 2005, according to the report, but the actual number of new cases increased to 8.8 million because of the growing world population.

Dr. Mario Raviglione├ľ, director of the WHO's Stop TB Department, said the figures represented the "first time ever" that TB rates had declined.

"Incidence has peaked around the world," he said. "This is fruition of all our efforts."

The announcement marks a milestone in the fight against TB, which the WHO declared a global health emergency in 1993 because of skyrocketing infections.

Since then, the number of deaths has declined from more than 3 million to 1.6 million in 2005, the report said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 22, 2007 11:17 AM
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