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World TB day and UK surveillance update - HPA

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kevinkelleher
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World TB day and UK surveillance update - HPA
Posted on: March 25 2010, 04:34 pm

 World TB day on 24 March marks the anniversary of the day, in 1882, that Dr Robert Koch identified the tuberculosis (TB) bacillus as the causative agent of tuberculosis. This year the theme is “on the move against tuberculosis” which focuses on innovative and novel strategies to stop TB.

The year 2010 marks the halfway point of the Global Plan to Stop TB (2006-2015) [1]. Estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO) published in March 2009 indicate that, in 2008, there were 9.4 million new cases worldwide (139 per 100,000) and 1.3 million deaths due to TB [2].  Seven out of nine WHO-defined epidemiological sub-regions have achieved the goal to reverse the trend of increasing incidence ahead of the target year 2015, and in four regions prevalence and mortality have also halved since 1990. However, it is unlikely that the target level for prevalence and mortality will be achieved on a global scale. In particular, drug resistant tuberculosis strains present a major challenge to the global effort to control TB, as outlined in a recent WHO report [3]. In 2008, it was estimated that 440 000 people had multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB, with 50% of cases thought to occur in China and India. In the 46 countries that test for resistance to second line drugs, extensively drug resistant TB (XDR TB) was found in 5.4% of MDR TB cases.

The HPA has released a newsletter to coincide with world TB day [4] which provides a UK TB surveillance update and outlines fresh approaches to control TB in the UK. New initiatives include the launch of the National Strain Typing Service, the trialling of an opt-out system for HIV testing in TB clinics in London and new methods for raising awareness and for TB case management.

Provisional data on the number of TB cases in the UK shows that 9153 cases were reported to enhanced national surveillance in 2009; a rate of 14.9 per 100,000 and a 5.5% increase compared to the provisional figures from 2008. This is mainly due to increased case numbers reported in eight out of nine regions in England (see figure). A consistent rise in incidence has been observed over the last decade and it is now crucial that efforts are consolidated nationally to halt and ultimately reverse this trend. Provisional data are still subject to change due to de-notifications, de-duplication of records and late notifications of TB. Finalised 2009 data will be published by HPA later this year.

Read full story at http://www.hpa.org.uk/hpr/news/
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