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Friday 25th May 2018

Warning on TB

11th October 2006
Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis in Eastern Europe and central Asia are putting EU states at risk of a deadly outbreak, health officials have warned. The Red Cross called it the most alarming tuberculosis situation since World War II and urged EU leaders to do more to combat the threat.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the "hottest zones" of new strains were all on the borders of the EU. Of 450,000 cases in Europe and central Asia annually, 70,000 are new strains.

The health groups' warnings came as they launched the Stop TB Partnership in Europe to try to fight the epidemic.

The WHO has found high levels of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in Baltic countries, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Studies in Latvia showed 18% of drug-resistant cases there are the most extreme variant.

The partnership between the Red Cross and the WHO is designed to boost detection, infection control and treatment of TB. About 1.7 million people die of the disease every year.

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