Tuberculosis is the second deadliest infectious disease behind Corona

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Even in Corona times, tuberculosis remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world. Especially given the pandemic, he said that urgent investment in the fight against it is crucial.

3 million tuberculosis deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

A sharp 24 percent drop in registered tuberculosis cases in the WHO European Region between 2019 and 2020 is likely to be related to the Corona pandemic, which has hampered the detection and reporting of such diseases, the European Office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the EU health agency ECDC said on Thursday to mark World Tuberculosis Day (24 March).

Tuberculosis remains one of the most deadly infectious diseases.

Tuberculosis is still the second deadliest infectious disease on earth after covid-19. Especially given the pandemic, urgent investments in the fight against tuberculosis are crucial, WHO Europe and ECDC urged. Countries in Europe and Central Asia have surpassed the target of a 20% reduction in cases over five years, said WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge. But there is no room for complacency, he added.

Kluge urged that to ensure further progress, more innovative and practical approaches to diagnosing and treating tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) must be introduced. ECDC Director Andrea Ammon added, referring to the pandemic: “Unfortunately, the fight against TB has become even more difficult in the past two years.”

In the European Region, which includes 53 countries, more than 160,000 cases of TB will be reported in 2020. In Austria, 388 TB cases were registered in the epidemiological reporting system EMS in 2020. However, before the pandemic, there were 500 to 600 per year. Experts drew attention this week to the fact that the cases registered since the beginning of the pandemic were more severe than before.

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