‘TB anywhere is TB everywhere’: Australia and the global burden of tuberculosis

The global burden of tuberculosis

In October the World Health Organization released its annual global tuberculosis (TB) report. Based on data reported by 202 countries, it highlights the fact that the TB epidemic is larger than previously believed, due to revised estimates from India.

The report reveals that the global TB burden is daunting – both in scale and implications. In 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million cases of TB, 5.9 million (56%) of them in men and 1 million (10%) in children. TB is also the world’s top infectious disease killer, with 1.8 million TB deaths in 2015, 0.4 million of these among people living with HIV. Approximately 60% of the world’s TB cases occur in just six countries – India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa – with China, India and Indonesia accounting for 45% of the global burden. Progress in TB control in these countries will likely determine the future course of the epidemic.

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