In 2018, it is estimated that there are at least 10 million people diagnosed with tuberculosis worldwide. Among that number, 5.7 million of them are men, 3.2 million are women, and the rest are children. Today, in time for World Tuberculosis Day, let’s learn more and get to know some tuberculosis facts.
There are many people infected with TB
Our first tuberculosis fact might also be the most worrying one. Despite there being at least 10 million people diagnosed with tuberculosis, the number of people infected with the TB bacteria are actually greater. There are at least 1 out of 3 people in the entire world infected with the bacteria, but not all of them would feel sick. However, those infected are still able to infect other people, and that is why it is very important to use a mask when you are coughing.
TB is very contagious
Just as the first tuberculosis fact said, the infected people could still infect others even though they do not feel any sickness or showing any symptoms. TB could spread from the air, and when someone inhales the air filled with TB bacteria, those bacteria will live inside of their lungs and grow there. On average, a person could infect at least 10 to 15 new infected people each year, however only 10% of them would fall ill with TB.
There are 2 types of TB
One tuberculosis fact that not many people might have known is that there are 2 types of TB: latent and active. While the active one might be very contagious, the latent one is not contagious and usually it will stay undetectable. However, there is a chance that the bacteria will be active one day and become contagious. Thankfully, the latent TB can be treated so it will not become an active TB.
TB can actually be cured
After reading a few worrying tuberculosis facts before this one, you might be able to relax a bit knowing that tuberculosis can actually be cured. However, the patient will need to take a combination of TB drugs. However, TB is still a very serious disease, because if the patients are not taking their drugs correctly (or do not take the correct drugs), they may not be completely cured, and that is why many people can still die from the disease.
The country with the most infections is…
TB is a global pandemic, which means it occurs all across the globe. However, in 2014 it is known that the largest number of new infections came from South-East Asia and the Western part of the Pacific Regions, but that does not mean those regions have the worst number. Instead, the biggest proportion of cases per 10.000 population is in Africa.
Despite there are many worrying tuberculosis facts around us, the number of people falling ill with TB is actually declining each year. In fact, between 1990 and 2013 the global mortality rate for TB dropped by 45%. Another good thing is that there are at least 37 million lives that were saved through TB treatment between 2000 and 2013.