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Human Resources

March: Tuberculosis

A Global View

According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis is treatable and curable. That's why they've designated March 24th World TB Day. TB mostly affects young adults but people who have a compromised immune system or use tobacco are at a higher risk for getting the disease. According to the WHO, symptoms can include cough, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Check out more information about the causes, statistics and treatment for TB below.

Facts and Stats

  • TB:  One of the world's top infectious killers.
  • Caused by bacteria that most often affects the lungs.
  • Among 5 top causes of death worldwide for women aged 15-44 years.
  • Over 95% of TB deaths: low to middle income countries.
  • Occurs in every part of the world.  No country has ever eliminated TB.

Risk Factors

  • Healthy people infected with bacteria have a 10% risk in their lifetime of getting TB.
  • People who have a much higher risk of getting ill from TB bacteria:
    • People living with HIV: TB causes 25% of all HIV-related deaths
    • Malnourished people
    • Individuals with diabetes
  • People who use tobacco:  over 20% of TB cases worldwide due to smoking and its effects


Tuberculosis is cureable and treatable with a 6 month course of antibiotics.

  • Up to 2/3rds of people ill with TB will die without proper treatment.
  • Between 2000-2013 an estimated 37 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment.