WHO: Number Tuberculosis Cases Drops for First Time

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 6:15 pm (UTC-5)
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The World Health Organization says the number of people with tuberculosis is declining, and that the number of TB deaths is at a 10-year low.

A new WHO report says 8.8 million people were infected with the lung disease last year — down from a peak of 9 million in 2005.

The WHO attributes the fall to closer attention paid to the disease and greater funding in such large countries as China and in parts of Africa and Latin America.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls the drop major progress but he says this is no time for complacency. He urges serious and sustained support for TB prevention and care.

The WHO reported last month what it calls an alarming and dramatic rise of drug-resistant TB in Europe.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria that destroys lung tissue. It is highly contagious and easily spread by coughing.