Tuberculosis (TB)

Although TB is curable and preventable, it is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It causes fever, weight loss, a persistent cough and coughing up blood. TB is an airborne infectious disease. It is spread through droplets in the air, via a sneeze or a cough from people who are infected.

Although the number of TB cases has decreased over the past decades, mainly in high economic countries, it is still an important public health problem. This is due to recently emerging bacterial strains, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, that are not responsive to commonly used drugs.

“The investigative effort to collect, analyse and evaluate epidemiological and socio-economic data is vital in achieving the primary goal of eliminating TB globally. Only through accurate data can national TB control programmes adapt to their country specificities. This collection of statistics will ensure that the allocation of resources can be more efficient and lead to better results in the long term while aiming for TB elimination.” Raquel Duarte, Pulmonologist at Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at ICBAS, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, Secretary of ERS Assembly 10.

TB in numbers

in 2019 in the WHO European region

The charts below present data from GBD studies to provide a uniform evaluation of the state of lung health. To find out more about how this data is put together, visit the methodology page. All charts are freely available to download by clicking the three dots in the top right hand corner. Please reference Lung Facts when sharing.

  • Europe: the big picture
  • Incidence rate
  • Incidence numbers
  • Prevalence rate
  • Prevalence numbers
  • Mortality rate
  • Mortality numbers
  • Years of life lost (YLL) rate
  • Years of life lost (YLL) numbers
  • Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) rate
  • Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) numbers
  • Monetised DALYS – societal cost for whole population in international dollars
  • Monetised DALYS – societal cost per 100,000 people in international dollars