What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a disease caused by bacteria spread through the air from one person to another. Commonly, it attacks the lungs, but also other parts of the body. It is estimated that one third of the world's population is infected with TB, but it can lay latent, meaning not everyone develops the active disease. Persons with latent TB do not spread the disease unless it is active in the body. Of all TB cases in the world, 85 percent occur in 22 countries. Of these 22 countries, 9 are in sub-Saharan Africa and over 1.5 million cases of TB occur in Africa each year. In Africa TB/HIV co-infection is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in Africa. A 3-5 drug regimen using Directly Observerd Therapy – Short course (DOTS) over a 6-8 month period is the standard of treatment for TB. Treatment failures result in drug resistance including multi-drug resistence.
The links below provide information on tuberculosis and global efforts to stop its spread.
U.S. Government Links
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Tuberculosis Elimination provides education and training information on TB. The CDC Fact Sheet on Tuberculosis contains information on Extensively Drug–Resistant Tuberculosis. The CDC's National Prevention Information Network provides materials focusing on the prevention of tuberculosis. Also available is information on World TB Day.
- NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provides TB-related research, including resources for researchers. Information is also available about Tuberculosis Prevention and TB Vaccine.
- The National Library of Medicine provides a compilation of links from public and private agencies regarding TB basics and research information. Additionally, you can find historical information about the fight against TB at the Visual Culture and Public Health Posters site.
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health provides occupationally-related publications on tuberculosis for health care workers who represent three percent of all TB cases.
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis , and Malaria works to stop the spread of tuberculosis through financial support of medical services.
- Learn about the World Health Organization's Stop TB Partnership and its mission to eliminate tuberculosis across the globe.
- The Bill and Melida Gates Foundation supports TB vaccine research .
- Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) conducts research and brings affordable diagnostic tests including TB diagnostics and products to market quickly http://www.finddiagnostics.org/