After 20 years! WHO warns: The number of deaths from tuberculosis is increasing in Europe

2023-03-24 13:23:43Kosova&Bota SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX

After two decades of steady decline, the number of deaths from tuberculosis is rising again in Europe.

The warning was given by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In 2021, this lung disease claimed the lives of 27,300 Europeans, compared to 27,000 the year before. With around 4,900 and 3,600 deaths respectively, Russia and Ukraine are the worst affected countries.

The number is increasing, according to the WHO, due to the easing of diagnoses during the quarantines imposed due to Covid-19, as well as the spread of a tuberculosis resistant to an antibiotic prescribed against the disease.

In the 53 countries of the WHO Europe area, which also covers Central Asia, about 230,000 people fell ill with tuberculosis, which is caused by a bacterium that mainly attacks the lungs - a total that remains low in previous years.

" The increase in the number of deaths from tuberculosis that we see in 2021 is most likely due to the delay or lack of diagnoses of tuberculosis due to problems in services (...) during the Covid-19 pandemic," he explained .

Furthermore, the prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis increased significantly, with one in three cases in 2021 being Rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis. On a global scale, the WHO had already expressed concern in October about the increase, again for the first time in more than 20 years, of new cases of tuberculosis in the world.