Making a colored mural in the TB/Infectious Disease unit at L’Hôpital de l’Université d’Etat d’Haiti using teamwork, sharing and collaboration.
One third of the world’s population is thought to have been infected with M. tuberculosis, and new infections occur at a rate of about one per second. In 2007 there were an estimated 13.7 million chronic active cases, and in 2010 8.8 million new cases, and 1.45 million deaths, mostly in developing countries. The absolute number of tuberculosis cases has been decreasing since 2006 and new cases since 2002. In addition, more people in the developing world contract tuberculosis because their immune systems are more likely to be compromised due to higher rates of AIDS. The distribution of tuberculosis is not uniform across the globe; about 80% of the population in many Asian and African countries test positive in tuberculin tests, while only 5–10% of the U.S. population test positive.
Systemic symptoms include fever, chills, night sweats, appetite loss, weight loss, and fatigue. Finger clubbing may also occur.
TB in Haiti:
TB is eminently treatable and patients are almost always cured. It has all but disappeared from the rich nations but still plagues parts of the world to an extent that most Americans and Europeans would find astonishing. Haiti has the highest per capita TB burden in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and has the highest mortality rate related to Tuberculosis in the Americas. After HIV/AIDS, TB is the country’s greatest infectious cause of mortality in both youth and adults. It shares what Dr. Paul Farmer calls “a noxious synergy” with AIDS.
TB and AIDS create a deadly synergy. In much of the world, TB is the most common proximate cause of death among people who died of AIDS. But because TB mainly infects mostly developing nations, Pharmaceutical companies have for years lagged behind in their development of new technologies. There is no vaccine. Most TB drugs and diagnostic tools were developed a quarter-century ago. Read more