“The Ancient Killer”
In 2005 the disease was diagnosed in 9.2 million people, almost exclusively in the developing world, and 1.7 million people died from it. The disease I refer to is tuberculosis. As defined by the Encarta Encyclopedia; “tuberculosis is a chronic or an acute bacterial infection that primarily attacks the lungs, but which may also affect the kidneys, bones, lymph nodes, and brain. The disease is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a rod-shaped bacterium.” Many people harbor the bacteria but have no symptoms of disease. When symptoms develop, they include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, chills, and fatigue. Children and people with weakened immune systems are the most susceptible to tuberculosis. The article “The Forgotten Plague,” written by Alice Park, documents the spread and destruction this disease has caused since ancient Greece and Egypt. Currently new strains of this disease are becoming more drug resistant. This is creating a greater need for stronger antibiotics. The world should step up and do more about the rising numbers of dead in third world countries.
The need for newer, stronger medicines and facilities to fight the spread of this disease is increasing. In 1993 the World Health Organization declared tuberculosis to be a global emergency. The first such designation ever declared by that organization. According to the World Health Organization, someone becomes infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis every second. One-third of the world’s population is infected with the bacteria, and as many as one in ten of those infected will develop active symptoms of tuberculosis at some point in their lives.
The World Health Organization’s plans for dealing with this disease are a 6 stage strategy. The first is making high-quality services widely available and accessible to all those who need them, including the poorest and most vulnerable to this disease. Second stage is...