In the United Kingdom, tuberculosis is quickly becoming a major issue, as some areas of London have higher rates of the disease than countries like Rwanda, Eritrea and Iraq.
Statistics show that there were more than 2,500 new cases of tuberculosis in the country’s capital city last year. More than 40% of all United Kingdom’s cases of tuberculosis come from London.
A recent study that was conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that one-third of all boroughs in London are considered to have rates of tuberculosis that are greater than the “high incidence” threshold, where at least 40 cases per 100,000 people occur.
In some boroughs, the situation was particularly bad. In the areas of Hounslow, Brent, Harrow, Newham and Ealing, more than 150 cases per 100,000 people have been confirmed.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, WHO figures from 2013 show that the country had 45 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. Rwanda had 69 cases per 100,000 people, and Eritrea had 92 cases per 100,000 people.
Swaziland has the distinction of being the country with the highest rate of tuberculosis, as the country has 1,382 confirmed cases of tuberculosis per every 100,000 people.
It’s not like the United Kingdom as a whole is facing a tuberculosis epidemic, as statistics show that when the entire country is considered, there are only 13 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people.
This shows that London needs to get the situation under control. London mayor Boris Johnson has been strongly urged to do something about the problem.
The plan is to increase education about tuberculosis in the city and to provide more services to help those who have the greatest likelihood of develop the disease.
Time is currently ticking, as the longer it takes to get the situation under control, the more difficult and more expensive it will be to curb rates in the future. With the city already spending above average amounts on healthcare, health officials need to act fast.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria. Most people who develop tuberculosis had prolonged exposure to an infected individual.
People at a particularly high risk for developing tuberculosis include prisoners, refugees, migrants, people with substance abuse issues and homeless people.