While a decrease in the number of cases is good news, health authorities are concerned about the number of cases that are resistant to antibiotics – at least 6% of cases reported last year in Costa Rica were found to be treatment resistant.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the problem is due to the improper use of antibiotics.
Although all age groups are at risk, the WHO says young adults are especially high risk.
In Costa Rica, 49 of last year’s 292 cases were in the 21 to 30 age group, surpassed only by those aged 51 to 60, with 53 cases.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is a common, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria.
Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. Most infections do not have symptoms, known as latent tuberculosis. About one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.