Tuberculosis survives today because of its presence in animals

Deadly tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that the modern science find the cure for, but even though we have all the necessary tools to finally make it a thing of a past, this disease still manages to survive today and cause significant harm.

Most of the modern research and focus into combating TB is almost always closely tied to the well-funded HIV/AIDS programs that want to ensure a longer life for victims of this STD disease. Billions of dollars flow each year on enabling people with HIV to fight against infections that can wreck havoc in their bodies that have weakened immunity defenses. This includes funding for tuberculosis that to this day continues to kill a significant amount of HIV patients.

However, TB is not only killing HIV/AIDS patients. World Health Organization (WHO) reports that several types of TB are responsible for killing over 9 million people who don’t have HIV. Those people are usually from outside of Europe and North America where strong regulations have been placed on food processing (especially on dairy products that could contain bacteria M. bovis). The majority of them suffer from contagious pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) in their lungs. This is a zoonotic disease, which means, it is transmitted from animals to humans via touch or unprocessed foods. Often those animals are just carriers, meaning they don’t get sick from this bacteria.

Reasons for so many TB-caused deaths are numerous, and they include lack of fast diagnosis of the disease in humans, lack of resources to test health of animals and quality of processed dairy products, severe lack of disease surveillance, research funding and manpower, dissemination of information to the public, and lack of funding to perform tests that are need to diagnose active TB in a single individual. Countries that are most affected by TB are often poor and lack infrastructure that could deal with proper research, containment and treatment of this disease on a large scale.

Additional problems are present because TB-causing bacteria can develop resistances to drugs, and animals that are carrying the virus could easily be transported all around the world via global market deals.

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