Extreme Temperatures Increase the Incidence of Tuberculosis in Japan

by Allison Hu

Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global public health problem – it affects millions of people annually and ranks as the second leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide (World Health Organization (WHO) 2013) (Onozuka et al. 2014). The WHO estimated that there were 8.6 million new TB cases and 1.3 million TB deaths in 2012. The worldwide TB incidence rates peaked in 2004 and have decreased at a rate of less than 1 % per year since then. Thus, the overall worldwide burden continues to rise as a result of the rapid growth of the world population. TB is a leading cause of death in people in the most economically productive age groups. Furthermore, with growing concerns about global climate change, many studies have focused on associations between weather variability and the fluctuations of infectious diseases and have suggested that weather factors play an important role in their incidence, indicating the possibility of multiple functional pathways. Continue reading