NEW DELHI: A virus strain from China is spreading tuberculosis in the country, the government informed Lok Sabha citing a study conducted by doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
“The government is aware about the study where Beijing strain of the bacteria, mycobaterium tuberculosis has been identified by doctors in AIIMS,” Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said in a written reply.
According to the latest Global Tuberculosis (TB) Report-2016, India accounts for 24% of the global TB cases. Six countries — India, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa — account for 60% of the global total. India is also the hub for multi-drug resistant TB. Nearly 480,000 people contracted multi-drug resistant TB in 2015.
India is under international pressure to tackle the TB problem on priority, as India accounts for 1,400 of the 5,000 TB deaths daily at the global level. Though the number of deaths from the disease have come down in past few years globally as well as in India, but with a huge rural population living with poor sanitation and poor nutrition, elimination of the disease in India looks like a distant dream.