Tuberculosis Surpasses COVID-19 as Most Deadly Infectious Disease
In 2022, an estimated 1.2 million people died around the world from COVID-19, while 1.3 million people died from tuberculosis (TB), according to the World Health Organization (WHO).As cases of the COVID-19 virus and related deaths dwindle, tuberculosis, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has reclaimed its spot as the deadliest infectious disease.
TB “is curable, provided we diagnose early, intervene, and the drug regime is followed religiously,” Seyed Hasnain, National Science Chair at the Indian Institute of Technology and distinguished professor of life sciences at Sharda University in India, wrote to The Epoch Times via email. So why is it still so deadly?
A Disease of Poverty
Poverty is the breeding ground for tuberculosis.
TB is particularly endemic to eight countries, namely Bangladesh, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Over two-thirds of the world’s TB sufferers are from these countries.
Commonalities among these eight countries are overcrowding, poverty, and malnutrition, Dr. Vinod Kumar, director of Institute of Thoracic Medicine at Madras Medical College, wrote to The Epoch Times.