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Global Health
December 17, 2014

Higher Global Burden of TB

JAMA. 2014;312(23):2481. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.16703

There is a higher global burden of tuberculosis (TB) than previously estimated, according to improved national data from 202 countries and territories that were used in the latest annual report on TB from the World Health Organization, “Global tuberculosis report 2014,” (http://bit.ly/1igxt23). More than half of the 9 million people who developed TB in 2013 were in the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions.

Although the mortality rate from TB is decreasing, higher levels of poor treatment outcomes and treatment resistance are of great concern in certain regions of the world. A supplement to the report, “Drug-resistant TB: surveillance and response,” notes that the burden of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is low globally, but areas such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia have serious MDR-TB epidemics. Five priority actions to address the global MDR-TB crisis are outlined.

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