Friday, March 20, 2015

The Outlook for Tuberculosis in Europe


This article by Kate Kelland titled "Tuberculosis And Superbug Strains 'Ravaging' Europe, WHO Warns" from The Huffington Post describes the grave outlook for the decline of tuberculosis(TB) in Europe. TB is a highly contagious lung bacteria that typically strikes poverty stricken areas. It is spread through the coughs and sneezes of the infected individual and is extremely difficult to treat. The difficulty in treating this disease is due to the fact that many strains of the disease are becoming resistant at a fast pace. This disease is taking a toll on the population of Europe. It is estimated that 1.5 million people die each year due to TB, with Europe containing the bulk of the deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a report stating that this may not be resolved for another century. Marc Sprenger, director of the Stockholm-based ECDC which monitors disease in Europe stated, "Our data show a Europe in need of tailored interventions which target each country's settings,". 


It was shocking to see the statistics of the prevalence of TB especially in a country so modernized as Europe. The article does make an important mention of the fact that the disease typically targets and spreads in poverty stricken areas. This is an important thing to take note of given the amount of poverty world wide and how it has its impacts on developed and non-developed countries. These areas typically consist of people who do not have the education about such diseases or they cannot afford or do not have health insurance. This is an enormous issue for Europe as a country and for the WHO given the modes of transmission for the disease. This article did not mention any future plans on how to tackle the issue but it would be extremely important for both agencies to inform the public of their plans.

Phylicia Smith

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