WHO fears tuberculosis epidemic in Europe

The World Health Organization (WHO) is watching with alarm the increase in the number of patients with tuberculosis in Europe and does not rule out an epidemic by the end of the year. This was stated on Wednesday by the WHO representative in Russia Melita Vujnovich at an online press conference in TASS, dedicated to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the epidemic situation with tuberculosis.

“We are very afraid that by the end of the year we will see an increase in the number of cases and a new epidemic of tuberculosis that must be prevented. This is very important for us,” said Vujnovic.

To prevent an epidemic, European countries, she said, must respond to this challenge, not only at the level of the health care system, but also at the political level. Vujnovic stated that fewer cases of tuberculosis were detected in Europe in the first six months of this year than in the same period last year, but this does not mean that there are fewer patients, since the diagnostic system was paralyzed by the coronavirus pandemic. As the representative of the WHO explained, if it is not yet possible to detect tuberculosis in 15% of cases, then subsequently the increase in patients may be 30%.

“The situation is very alarming, everyone needs to talk about it,” Vujnovich summed up.

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