Tuberculosis on the march in Netherlands
The Netherlands is facing a substantial increase in the number of people infected with tuberculosis. Last year, nearly 1,100 patients were diagnosed with the disease, an increase of eight percent over the 2006-2008 average. According to the tuberculosis fund KNCV, eleven of these cases involved the multi-resistant variant which can no longer be treated with the two most effective drugs.
The main causes for the growing number of cases are international travel and immigration, which is why KNCV feels it is vital to continue sharing information with developing countries and emerging markets. The organisation, which published the latest data in connection with World Tuberculosis Day on 24 March, points out that because of its global nature the disease poses a reel and serious threat to the Netherlands.
The tuberculosis mortality rate in the Netherlands is fairly constant and relatively low. One in 70 of tuberculosis patients in the Netherlands dies of the disease. Scientists expect a new and effective vaccine against tuberculosis will become available in about ten years.
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