EUROPE - Mutant tuberculosis virus develops resistance to drugs used to treat the disease and threatens Europe

Wednesday, 17 March 2004

Rome (Fides Service) - The European Union is said to be threatened by a wave of tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organisation which warns that no country is completely safe from contagion. In the world some 300.000 cases are reported, with high percentages in various former Soviet territories and one outbreak in mainland China.
A report from WHO says that the only way to stop the spread of the virus is to assign more funds for treating TB patients in affected areas .
To conduct its survey of drug resistant tuberculosis WHO observed 64,000 patients in 63 different countries. The survey showed that the highest number of TB cases were registered in the Russian Federation, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Estonia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ecuador, and some regions of China, while central Europe and Africa have the lowest percentages.
Nevertheless in the regions not included in the WHO survey there could be higher percentages of a new type of drug resistant TB which, if neglected, could be mortal. (AP) (17/3/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:19; Parole:183)