Bloomberg News

Tuberculosis Cases Have Declined Since 2005, WHO Reports

October 11, 2011

(Updates with budget shortfall in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The number of people who fell ill with tuberculosis dropped from 2005 to 2010, the World Health Organization said today in its first report to show a decline in cases of the world’s second-deadliest infectious killer.

New cases of the bacterial infection dropped to 8.8 million in 2010 from a peak of 9 million in 2005, the Geneva-based agency said in an e-mailed statement. Deaths from TB dropped to 1.4 million from 1.8 million in 2003, according to the agency.

“This is cause for celebration,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in the statement. “But it is no cause for complacency. Too many millions still develop TB each year, and too many die.”

A $1 billion shortfall in 2012 funding for fighting the disease threatens to undo progress as drug-resistant forms spread, the WHO said. Only about 16 percent of patients with multidrug-resistant TB were reported to have received treatment last year, according to the report.

AIDS is the world’s biggest infectious killer.

--Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Tom Lavell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at

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