Mar 24, 2008

World TB Day

From WHO - A world free of TB (WHO = World Health Organization, TB = tuberculosis):

"Tuberculosis is an airborne infectious disease that is preventable and curable. People ill with TB bacteria in their lungs can infect others when they cough. An estimated 1.5 million people died from TB in 2006. In addition, another 200,000 people with HIV died from HIV-associated TB. If TB disease is detected early and fully treated, people with the disease quickly become non-infectious and eventually cured. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), HIV-associated TB, and weak health systems are major challenges."

"WHO is working to dramatically reduce the burden of TB, and halve TB deaths and prevalence by 2015, through its Stop TB Strategy and supporting the Global Plan to Stop TB."

"Worldwide efforts to confront tuberculosis are making progress, but too slowly"

From Stop TB Partnership - World TB Index:
"World TB Day - March 24th
World TB Day, falling on 24 March each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of several million people each year, mostly in the third world. 24 March commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. At the time of Koch's announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch's discovery opened the way toward diagnosing and curing tuberculosis."
At Stop TB Partnership - Video Library you can watch some educational videos on TB.

Just in case you don't know, the scientific name for the "TB bacillus" is Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The TB bacillus is an actinomycete.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis - Photo credit: Janice CarrPhoto credit: Janice Carr.
Source: Public Health Image Library. Content providers: CDC/ Dr. Ray Butler; Janice Carr.

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