Think Tuberculosis Is a Thing of the Past in Canada? Think Again – The Tyee

Drug shortages, lack of availability mean disease remains a real threat to vulnerable communities.

Tuberculosis kills more people than any other infectious disease on the planet. Nevertheless, TB is not high on the lists of health concerns of most Canadians. While it cut a wide swath through the population a century ago, rising standards of living drove a decline in the incidence of the disease in the first half of the 20th century. Drugs developed in the 1940s and 1950s offered an effective cure for the cases at the time.

Unfortunately, the success of those drugs has led to a complacency that is preventing us from taking the necessary measures against this disease. Tuberculosis is still a real threat for many Canadians, particularly the homeless and Indigenous people who have not experienced improvements in nutrition and housing, as well as people from countries where TB remains widespread. Complacency is also creating unnecessary barriers to addressing the emerging threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

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