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WHO Marks World Tuberculosis Day, Says TB Remains Major Threat


The World Health Organization is marking World Tuberculosis Day Monday, calling on individuals to do more to fight the disease.

An estimated 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis in 2006 and a report in the New England Journal of Medicine warns Africa may be facing the worst tuberculosis epidemic since the invention of antibiotics.

The report finds the number of TB cases in Africa more than doubled between 1990 and 2005, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The head of a research unit at Johannesburg's Witswatersrand University, there were 9.2 million new cases of TB in 2006, an increase of about $100 from the year before. It said India had the most cases, followed by China, Indonesia, South Africa, and Nigeria.

World Tuberculosis Day commemorates the day Dr. Robert Koch announced he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis (the TB bacillus) in 1882.