Victorian-age diseases on the rise across the globe

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Old time killers such as tuberculosis and measles are on the rise, with reports in England and overall global numbers proving these diseases are not just part of the past
By Jason Spencer | Dec 27, 2015
As medicine evolves we find ourselves eradicating diseases that were once too strong for humanity to overcome. Sadly diseases that were once thought to be wiped out or fairly close to extinction are making a comeback.

According to Insight Ticker, measles, whooping cough, tuberculosis, and other Victorian-age killers have seen a rise in numbers, especially in England. The National Health Service (NHS) has seen cases of these diseases skyrocket in comparison to five years ago. There were 14,000 cases of scarlet fever alone in 2014, which is the highest numbers have been since the 1960s.

"We have seen a rise in the cases of tuberculosis, we've seen a rise in cases of whooping cough, we have seen more measles in the last 10 years than in the last 10 years before that," said Dr. Nuria Martinez-Alier, an immunologist who hails from London.

In extreme cases, tuberculosis in England is more rampant than in less developed countries such Rwanda, Iraq, and Guatemala. The NHS also reports that while these diseases are treatable, proper nutrition and immunizations against these diseases are much easier to dole out.

An emphasis is being taken on the former. Malnutrition numbers have doubled in the past three years, and it is affecting the elderly more than anyone else in the country.

"Much malnutrition is preventable," said Dianne Jeffrey, the current chair of the Malnutrition Task For. "It is totally unacceptable that estimates suggest there are at least one million older people malnourished or at risk of malnourishment."

Outbreaks of measles and tuberculosis aren't just limited to England. The Waltonian reports that in 2013 tuberculosis killed 1.5 million people across the globe. Recent legislation such as the National Action Plan hope to combat tuberculosis, and many are hoping a plan involving other serious diseases will follow.

Dr. Onkar Sarhota, the chair of London's Health Committee, stresses just how important it is not to underestimate the seriousness of these old time killers.

"We think TB is a disease of developing countries or of days gone by, but TB is a disease of today,"he said.


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