1998 – The World Health Organization warned of tuberculosis epidemic that could kill 70 million people in next two decades.

Reports document worldwide epidemic

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The worst year in history for tuberculosis

Debra Watson

Last year 3 million people died and 7 million became sick from tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Although this disease has been highly preventable and curable for 50 years, more people will die of tuberculosis in 1998 than in any year in history.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that can live for years in its host, causes chronic debilitation and often leads to death. An airborne delivery mechanism spreads the illness from person to person. Active TB patients infect others at an average rate of 10 to 15 people each year.

One-third of the world’s population is now infected with the TB bacillus, although up to now the majority of those infected have not developed active TB. Estimates of the number infected with drug-resistant TB run as high as 50 million people.

TB is the leading infectious killer of youth and young adults worldwide. In the developing countries 60 percent of its victims are young men and women of reproductive age. According to data from a recent conference cosponsored by WHO and leading Swedish health institutions, 900 million women and girls, mostly between the ages of 15 and 44, are infected around the world.

Source: for the complete article go to: wsws.org

Image: internet –  Source: Focus Medica