(PBS) — There are 500,000 more cases of tuberculosis worldwide than previously estimated, according to a new report released today by the World Health Organization.
The WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2014 underscored that the highly contagious disease remains the second biggest infectious disease killer, infecting an estimated nine million people last year and killing 1.5 million.
The new numbers revealed “what many of us had feared, that the TB epidemic is even bigger than we thought,” said Dr. Joanne Carter, vice-chair of the STOP TB Partnership Coordinating Board.
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“This treatable disease is becoming one of the major silent killers in the world,” said Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s health minister.