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Oct 17, 2012, 07.44 PM IST
The number of people in the world newly infected with tuberculosis fell again last year, dropping by 2.2 percent, but the global burden of TB looms large and the pace of diagnosis of drug-resistant strains of the infection is slow, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
In its annual assessment, WHO cited progress toward global targets for reducing TB cases and deaths, noting that the United Nation's Millennium Development Goal target to halt and reverse the TB epidemic by 2015 has already been achieved.
"In the space of 17 years, 51 million people have been successfully treated and cared for according to WHO recommendations. Without that treatment, 20 million people would have died," Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Stop TB department, said in a statement.
The report features data from 204 countries and territories, and includes all aspects of TB, including resistant forms, rates of TB and HIV co-infections, research and development and financing.
Overall, it found that 8.7 million people fell ill with TB in 2011 and 1.4 million died in 2011, including nearly 430,000 people who were also infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
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