Tuberculosis Notifications and Mortality in Greece During the Period of 2003 to 2012
According to the latest World Health Organization report the rate of new tuberculosis (TB) cases has been falling worldwide for over a decade.1 However, TB continues to be a major global public health problem (in 2013, an estimated 9.0 million people developed TB and 1.5 million died from the disease) and surveillance is an essential part of any TB control plan.1 There is evidence that financial crisis can influence tuberculosis incidence and mortality.2Greece is considered a low incidence country for TB. However, since the final quarter of 2008, Greece has entered the most serious financial downturn in the country’s modern history and this has posed major threats to the health of the population.3 Rates of several communicable diseases have also increased.4 Specifically, an HIV outbreak among intravenous drug users occurred in 2011 and worsened in 2012, increasing the total number of HIV infections reported in Greece from 530 in 2010 to 826 in 2011 and 1,001 in 2012.5 Furthermore, many previously rare or absent infections have also now been reported, including malaria in 2011 and 2012 (previously absent since 1974),West Nile virus in 2010-2012 (never previously reported) and rabies in 2012 (previously absent since 1987).4 In view of this financial crisis we sought to evaluate the potential impact of the financial crisis on the notification rate and the mortality due to TB among the whole Greek population... (excerpt)
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