- Tuberculosis (TB) is contagious and spreads through the air. If not treated, each person with active TB can infect 10 to 15 people a year.
- More than two billion people, equal to one third of the world’s total population, are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB. One in every 10 of those people will become sick with active TB in his or her lifetime. People living with HIV are at a much greater risk.
- A total of 1.7 million people died from TB in 2009 (including 380,000 people with HIV), equal to about 4700 deaths a day. TB is a disease of poverty, affecting mostly young adults in their most productive years. The vast majority of TB deaths are in the developing world, with more than half occurring in Asia.
- TB is a leading killer among people living with HIV, who have weakened immune systems.
- There were 9.4 million new TB cases in 2009, of which 80% were in just 22 countries. Per capita, the global TB incidence rate is falling, but the rate of decline is very slow - less than 1%.
- TB is a worldwide pandemic. Among the 15 countries with the highest estimated TB incidence rates, 13 are in Africa, while a third of all new cases are in India and China.
- Multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a form of TB that does not respond to the standard treatments using first-line drugs. MDR-TB is present in virtually all countries surveyed by WHO and its partners.
- There were an estimated 440 000 new MDR-TB cases in 2008 with three countries accounting for over 50% of all cases globally: China, India and the Russian Federation. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB)occurs when resistance to second-line drugs develops. It is extremely difficult to treat and cases have been confirmed in more than 58 countries.
- The world is on track to achieve two TB targets set for 2015:
1. The Millennium Development Goal, which aims to halt and reverse global incidence (in comparison with 1990); and
2. The Stop TB Partnership target of halving deaths from TB (also in comparison with 1990).
- 41 million TB patients have been successfully treated in DOTS programmes and up to 6 million lives saved since 1995. 5 million more lives could be saved between now and 2015 by fully funding and implementing The Global Plan to Stop TB 2011-2015