2014 Press Releases

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Statement from ATS Past President Dean Schraufnagel on WHO Report on TB

"The American Thoracic Society applauds the World Health Organization (WHO) on the release of its Global Tuberculosis Report 2014. The reportfinds that there are almost half a million more TB cases globally than previously estimated and deaths from the disease have increased from 1.3 million in 2012 to 1.5 million in 2013.

“The ATS joins the WHO in calling forincreased funding to combat the global TB pandemic.

"While the overall mortality rate from TB has dropped by 45 percent since 1990, we note with concern the reported increase in TB deaths last year and the continued spread of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB. The WHO's report also points out that 3 million people with TB are still being “missed,” because they are not identified and treated for TB.

"The ATS reiterates its call to the international community to fully fund TB control and research and development programs. In its report, the WHO describes insufficient funding as one of the obstacles to battling TB. This includes the urgent need to develop new diagnostic, treatment and prevention tools. We urge Congress and the President to strengthen U.S. leadership on global and domestic  TB control through appropriate funding for TB programs at the CDC, USAID and the  Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. We simply must step up our efforts to combat TB, the second-leading global infectious disease killer.”

Dean Schraufnagel, MD, is a past president of the American Thoracic Society and world-recognized expert of treating and preventing TB. Originally founded as the American Sanitorium Association in 1905, the ATS continues to fight to eliminate TB in the U.S. and around the world. With the WHO, the ATS produced the first international guidelines for TB care and prevention and assists 27 countries in their TB efforts.

Dean Schraufnagel, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine
University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences  System