Alarming TB Crisis Threatens European Union

Society | October 10, 2006, Tuesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis in Eastern Europe and central Asia are putting EU states at risk of a deadly outbreak, health officials have warned.

The Red Cross urged EU leaders to do more to combat the threat, calling it the most alarming tuberculosis situation since World War II.

Of 450,000 cases in Europe and central Asia annually, 70,000 are new strains.

Extreme drug resistant TB has been seen worldwide, including in the US, Eastern Europe and Africa, although Western Europe has had no cases.

The World Health Organization has found high levels of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in Baltic countries, Eastern Europe and central Asia.

The health groups' warnings came as they launched the Stop TB Partnership in Europe to try to fight the epidemic.

The WHO announced the hottest zones of drug-resistant tuberculosis are all around the periphery of the European Union.

About 1.7m people die of the disease every year.

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