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WHO Report Reveals Alarming Rise in Tuberculosis Deaths Again in Europe



European deaths caused by tuberculosis (TB) have increased by almost 10% in the past year, according to a recent WHO report. Given that tuberculosis is a disease that can be prevented and treated, this worrying trend is especially concerning.

The bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis is responsible for tuberculosis, which typically affects the lungs but can also affect other body parts. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks, the disease enters the air. TB affects people in high-income countries, including those in Europe, but it is more prevalent in low- and middle-income nations.

The WHO report uncovers that there were an expected 297,000 TB cases in the European locale in 2020, with very nearly 30,000 passings. Compared to 2019, this indicates a 9.4% increase in TB deaths. The eastern region, which included Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, saw the highest number of TB cases and deaths.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major factor in the rise in TB deaths in Europe. Services for TB, including screening, diagnosis, and treatment, have been disrupted by the pandemic, resulting in diagnostic and treatment delays. Fear of contracting COVID-19 in healthcare facilities has also discouraged many TB patients from seeking treatment.

The emergence of drug-resistant TB is another factor. A type of TB that is resistant to one or more of the drugs used to treat it is known as drug-resistant TB. As a result, treatment becomes more challenging and mortality rates may rise.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging immediate action to address the rise in European TB deaths. This includes addressing the underlying social determinants of TB, such as poverty and poor living conditions, strengthening TB services, expanding access to diagnostics and treatments, and

The World Health Organization (WHO) also wants to see more money spent on research and development to come up with new tools, strategies, and methods for TB prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Concerningly, there has been an increase in TB-related deaths in Europe, highlighting the urgent need to address this treatable and preventable disease. To reduce the number of unnecessary deaths caused by TB, it is absolutely necessary to improve access to diagnostics and treatment as well as strengthen TB services.

“The increase in TB deaths that we are seeing in 2021 is most likely a consequence of delay in, or lack of, TB diagnosis due to disruption to TB services during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to increased severity of disease and associated increase in deaths,” the WHO Europe said.

Furthermore, the pervasiveness of drug-resistant TB additionally rose in 2021, with one of every three instances of the sickness impervious to rifampicin, the principal drug used to treat the disease.

In October, the WHO communicated worry about the ascent in new cases overall in 2021, additionally the first ascent in 20 years. Its data showed that 10.6 million people would get tuberculosis in 2021.

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