CASES of one of the most infectious killer diseases in human history have started to surge globally for the first time in 20 years.
The number of people testing positive for tuberculosis (TB) rose by 10.6million in 2021 – a 3.6 per cent rise.
Cases of drug-resistant TB also increased over the pandemicCredit: Getty
The disease is serious and can be fatal if untreated.
The infection mainly affects the lungs but can also have an impact on the tummy, bones, glands and nervous system.
Until now, cases of the deadly infection have decreased by about two per cent per year for most of the past two decades.
This comes as many people were unable to get a diagnosis or receive treatment during Covid lockdowns.
To make matters worse, cases of drug-resistant TB also increased by three per cent between 2020 and 2021, the report said.
In July, Brits were urged to be on the lookout for signs of the deadly Victorian disease after an outbreak at a university in Wales.
Three students at a university campus tested positive for the illness – eight months after coming into close contact with someone who died from the disease.
While in March, health chiefs warned anyone with a cough that’s lingered for more than three weeks to seek help as experts predicted a spike in cases following various lockdowns.
Just last week, a small outbreak of diphtheria were confirmed in the UK.
It’s a highly contagious disease that affects the skin, nose and throat and without treatment, can be fatal.
The 6 symptoms of TB to watch out for
TB is a potentially serious condition, but it can be cured if it’s treated with the right antibiotics.
- a persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks and usually brings up phlegm, which may be bloody
- breathlessness that gradually gets worse
- lack of appetite and weight loss
- a high temperature
- night sweats
- extreme tiredness or fatigue
Data from the NHS shows that in Yorkshire and the Humber, cases of such conditions are at the highest levels seen since 2017.
Some patients were found to have these bugs – even when they hadn’t initially been admitted for them.
Cases were up 23 per cent from those seen in 2020/21.