In North America, it isn’t often that we hear the word tuberculosis unless it is in a history class or we are learning about diseases from years past. However, it is important to realize that most of the world isn’t as developed as our nation and thus, some of the problems that we think of us long gone are still a reality to many of them.
Tuberculosis, or TB as it is often referred to as, is a lung condition caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It’s an airborne disease that is often successfully treated, however, some strains of the disease are resistant to conventional treatments. In these circumstances, what are known as “second-line drugs” are used to treat the illness, however, even still, some strains fail to respond to these.
According to the World Health Organizations estimates, in 2012, some 900,000 people lost their lives as a result of TB. While most of these deaths occur in poorer, less developed countries, it has become a growing concern here in the Western world as a growing trend of not vaccinated children seems to be on the rise. In 2014, there was a report 493 deaths from TB in the United States, and while that was a drop from the year before, it is important to monitor these figures, especially in their relation to vaccinations. It is also worth noting that one of the top causes of death for people with HIV/AIDS is succumbing to TB.