Scientists Say Recession May Spark Baltic TB Surge
May 3, 2010
In a new study, researchers warn that the global economic downturn could trigger an upsurge in TB cases in the Baltic states.
In the current study, the researchers designed models based on WHO data on TB cases and deaths from 1980 to 2006 and World Bank Data on gross domestic product, from which they predicted that Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania could see rising numbers of TB cases in the future.
"If TB epidemiology and control are linked to economies in 2009 as they were in 1991, then the Baltic states, particularly Latvia, are now vulnerable to another upturn in TB cases and deaths," the authors concluded. "We recommend close surveillance and monitoring during the current recession, especially in the Baltic states."
Arinaminpathy noted in an interview, "An upturn in any region becomes a concern for neighboring countries, and because people travel so much these days it also becomes a concern for countries further away."
The study, "Health in Financial Crises: Economic Recession and Tuberculosis in Central and Eastern Europe," was published online in the Royal Society's journal Interface (04.28.10; doi: 10.1098/rsif.2010.0072).
04.27.2010; Kate Kelland
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