The number of cases of tuberculosis diagnosed in Catalonia fell below a thousand for the first time in 2017, according to the epidemiological report by Catalonia’s Agency of Public Health. The study shows that in 2017 the number of cases stood at 999, a rate of 13.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, slightly under the figures for 2016.
In a statement yesterday, the Catalan government’s health department said that the rate of cases had gone down by an average of 5.6% each year in the past decade. The agency’s report shows that 61.5% of the people affected by tuberculosis in Catalonia are men, with an average age of 44.1. Among the native population, most of the cases were among people over 65, while in the 25 to 34 age range most were born abroad. The rate for people from other countries is 36.3 for every 100,000 inhabitants, four times more than the native population. Barcelona is the place where most cases were diagnosed, making up 65.8% of the total.
Coinciding with World Tuberculosis Day, which is today, the Catalan authorities also pointed out the importance of combating the stigma against the illness in order to improve the chances of people affected receiving the help and treatment they need. Tuberculosis is one of the top ten causes of death in the world, despite there being effective treatments for the illness.