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© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Fedorenko

Tuberculosis deaths down in Moscow, but infections increase

by Anna Arutunyan at 03/04/2013 15:05

Each week about eight people die of tuberculosis in Moscow alone, an expert announced Wednesday, and while the number of deaths from the infectious disease are down, the number of cases has grown.

“In 2012, the Moscow mortality rate for tuberculosis was 3.7 people out of 100,000, which is 3.3 times less than the nationwide figures,” Yelena Bogorodskaya was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. “In the last two years, the number of tuberculosis deaths has gone down by 25 percent, but that still means that eight people die each week from tuberculosis.”

Moscow authorities plan to set up additional facilities to treat homeless people with tuberculosis, Bogorodskaya said.

The figures are the latest findings on a disease that still poses one of the nation’s biggest health threats, particularly in its prison system, with 22,000 people dying of the disease in 2011, according to World Health Organization figures.  Russia ranked 11th in a WHO list of 22 countries with the highest TB prevalence rates in 2009.

The problem is considered worse in Russia’s regions. Internal migrants, foreign migrants and homeless people are the most affected, totaling 46 percent of all TB infections, according to Russia’s Health Ministry.

An increase in Moscow’s infections rate can be attributed to the annexation of new districts that were previously outside of Moscow city limits, Alexei Mazus, the Health Ministry’s chief specialist for HIV, told RIA Novosti. There was an increase in new HIV infections as well as tuberculosis cases, he said.



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