Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections show no symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. Around 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kill about half of those affected. Typical symptoms of active TB are chronic cough with blood-containing mucus, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It was historically referred to as consumption due to the weight loss associated with the disease.
In 2018, one quarter of the world's population was thought to have a latent infection of TB. New infections occur in about 1% of the population each year. In 2020, an estimated 10 million people developed active TB, resulting in 1.5 million deaths, making it the second leading cause of death from an infectious disease after COVID-19. As of 2018, most TB cases occurred in the regions of South-East Asia (44%), Africa (24%), and the Western Pacific (18%), with more than 50% of cases being diagnosed in seven countries: India (27%), China (9%), Indonesia (8%), the Philippines (6%), Pakistan (6%), Nigeria (4%), and Bangladesh (4%). By 2021, the number of new cases each year was decreasing by around 2% annually.
Stop TB Partnership