Why are tuberculosis rates here in Singapore not falling further?

There are more people with latent TB now. Better vigilance from the community is needed to prevent these from becoming active cases.

TB, an airborne infectious disease caused by a bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has afflicted man for millennia. It has claimed over a billion lives in the last 200 years, more than any other infectious disease in history.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared tuberculosis a global emergency in 1993. Twenty-five years on, TB is reported by the WHO as the leading cause of death globally from a single infectious agent, with an estimated 1.6 million deaths and 10 million persons afflicted in 2017.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2019, with the headline 'Why are TB rates here not falling further?'. Subscribe