Projected spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis threatens elimination targets

by Joanne Lu
Humanosphere, 10 May 2017

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Drug-resistant tuberculosis is projected to spread over the next 20 years in four countries that already have a high burden of the disease: Russia, India, the Philippines and South Africa. The expected rise in cases jeopardizes elimination targets set by the World Health Organization (WHO). A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected that by 2040, one-third of tuberculosis (TB) cases in Russia will likely be drug-resistant. One in 10 cases in India and the Philippines will be drug-resistant as well, while one in 20 cases will be drug-resistant in South Africa. These four countries represent a wide range of epidemiological conditions, and nearly 40 percent of all drug-resistant TB already occurs within their borders – more than 230,000 cases in 2015.

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