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Tuberculosis Prevention Tuberculosis is becoming a world-wide problem Three million people die of TB each year and over 22000 cases are reported each year in the United States There are also an estimated 10 to 15 million people in the US who are infected with the TB germs with potential to develop TB disease in the future Huglas February 1998 The modern era of tuberculosis began in the mid 1980s At that time it was realized that tuberculosis had not only ceased to decline in many developed countries notably the USA but was actually increasing It is estimated that deaths from tuberculosis will increase from 3 million a year currently to 5 million by the year 2050 Tilson 1998 Tuberculosis spreads through coughing and sneezing and it is highly contagious Someone in the world is newly infected with TB each second One-third of the worlds population is now infected with TB bacilli World Health Organization There is virtually nothing anyone can do to protect himself or himself from TB You could get into a taxicab and if somebody who was there three hours before had been coughing those particles will remain suspended in the air for a few hours Although effective and affordable treatment have been available since 1950 the drugs generally must be taken for 6 to 8 months Many patients stop taking them as soon as they begin to feel better because of a lack of education Premature cessation of the treatment will result in a relapse and possibly the emergence of a drug resistant strain Hugles February 1998 Tuberculosis is out of control in many developing countries of the world Within the developed world immigration is the greatest factor contributing to the increase in cases Current events suggest that the situation will deteriorate further before the international community provides sufficient resources to regain the upper hand in the war against tuberculosis World Health Organization The practical solution must concentrate on
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