Professor Vīksna of the Department of Infectology and Dermatology, RSU Faculty of Medicine, reminds that tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by an ancient bacterium. Anyone can get infected with it regardless of age, living and material conditions.
Though the official number of tuberculosis patients has diminished, Latvia is still third with regard to spread of tuberculosis in Europe. Lithuania has the second highest number of TB cases in Europe, whereas, Romania’s TB rates are the highest.
According to estimates of 2013, in Scandinavian and Western European countries the number of TB cases ranges from 5 to 9 per 100,000 inhabitants. In Latvia the number of TB cases was 38.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. Data of 2014 are not available yet.
Professor Ludmila Vīksna stresses that “tuberculosis is a treatable disease. If a person has a lasting bad cough and feels weak, he or she has to be tested for tuberculosis”.
Previously patients had to spend a long time in the hospital for setting up a diagnosis. Today the professor encourages breaking a stereotype that it takes a long while by specifying that “today the diagnosis can be determined in several hours”.
According to the data provided by the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia, 434 patients were treated and have ended the treatment of TB that accounts for 76.3 % of the total number of TB patients registered in 2013 (a total of all drug-resistant TB and drug-susceptible TB cases). Only 83.5 % of drug-susceptible TB patients were treated.