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NewsGP – Ongoing epidemic remains among world’s deadliest

Results advocate and GP Dr Janice Tan, explains how an ‘ancient disease’ mostly found thousands of kilometres away still impacts Australia.

I am a GP in metropolitan Sydney. My patient, Rashid*, comes in today to talk about some recent stressors. The man, who is originally from a developing country, has just received word that there is a steadily rising number of cases of an infectious disease in his hometown. His father has also recently tested positive and has no access to appropriate healthcare. As the disease is highly infectious and easily spread through respiratory droplets, Rashid is worried that it will spread to the rest of his family. It may sound all too familiar, but the disease is not COVID-19. This is tuberculosis, an ancient disease that has stood the test of time. While cases in Australia and many first world nations remain low, tuberculosis remains at epidemic proportions in developing countries, including our Pacific neighbours.


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