today is world tuberculosis ("tb") day and is intended to increase public awareness of global tuberculosis epidemic and efforts to eliminate the disease. this startling statistic says it all: one-third of the world's population is currently infected with tb!
the march 24 date marks the anniversary of dr robert koch's discovery of the tuberculosis bacillus in 1882 - the first step towards diagnosing and curing tuberculosis. the world has made tremendous strides in fighting tb, but there is much to be done.
just yesterday, in fact, in the science section of the ny times, there was a report on the spread of drug-resistant tb (which killed 150,000 people in 2008 alone)! standard tb generally takes 6 months to cure with antibiotics. drug resistant tb can take two years to cure and requires a much more toxic mix of drugs to combat.
the theme for the 2010 campaign is "on the move against tuberculosis: innovate to accelerate action!"
support the fight against tb today!