Today, on World TB Day, ECDC is launching the first joint ECDC/WHO TB surveillance report and a video clip on multidrug-resistant TB.
World TB Day (March 24) commemorates the date in 1882 when Robert Koch announced his discovery of M. tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes TB.
Every year, World TB Day provides an opportunity to communicate TB-related problems and solutions and to support European TB-control efforts. The disease is a continuing public health threat therefore it has been a focus of ECDC’s work from start and TB is also a priority on European level. In March 2007, the European Union’s (EU) Health Commissioner, Markos Kyprianou, called on the ECDC to develop a proposal for an action plan to fight tuberculosis in the EU.
ECDC/WHO TB surveillance report
Tuberculosis situation in the European Union in 2007
Facts – Did you know that?
- Nearly 90,000 people develop active TB each year in the EU
- Tuberculosis (TB) is contagious and spreads through the air.
- Every hour, 49 people in Europe are diagnosed with and 7 die from tuberculosis. (WHO)
- TB and MDR-TB are very serious and, if left untreated, both can kill.
What is ECDC doing?
- coordinates Euro-TB network and jointly performs surveillance with the WHO Regional Office for Europe
- provides technical guidance (i.e. BCG, TB in migrants new tools)
- supports follow-up of the EU Framework Action Plan
- builds TB laboratory networking
- works directly with Member States performing country visits
Data and statistics
Table: Tuberculosis cases, EU and EFTA/EEA countries, 2003-2007
Table: Characteristics of tuberculosis data in EU and EFTA/EEA, 2007
Figure: Trend of TB notification rate for the 27 EU countries and Iceland and Norway, 1995-2007
Figure: Treatment outcome in previously untreated laboratory-confirmed pulmonary cases, EU and EFTA/EEA countries 2001-2006
Can EU stop Tuberculosis?
ECDC action plan to target further control and eliminate Tuberculosis
ECDC has published on 17 March 2008 an action plan to better control – and ultimately eliminate –Tuberculosis (TB) in the EU. Nearly 90,000 people are infected each year in the EU.
One of the plan’s central aims is ensuring rapid detection and effective treatment of TB cases.
Framework action plan to fight tuberculosis in the European Union
- TB is still an issue in Europe
- MDR threatens TB elimination
- TB is heavily affecting vulnerable population
- The burden of TB amongst the EU varies widely in the Member States
ECDC used the Emergency Operating Center for the first time: the ‘Speaker case’
On 26 May 2007 ECDC received notification from WHO that a passenger with Extensive Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB) had taken flights between Europe and North America. ECDC immediately conducted a risk assessment with the Member States that was posted on its website on 29 May.
The same day, the Member States asked ECDC to coordinate the contact tracing in the EU. In order to give the appropriate response to the incident, ECDC decided on 31 May to activate the PHE level 1 in its Emergency Operational Centre for the first time. On 6 June the US CDC issued a full report on the incident, which was then considered closed.
ECDC TB Team
Formed in September 2006 and coordinated by Davide Manissero since March 2007, the ECDC TB team is composed of eight dedicated scientists from all ECDC technical units.
Over the years, the team has developed a fruitful collaboration with colleagues from the Member States, the Commission, WHO EURO and international NGOs in the field of TB control. As a result, the team served on several technical panels of WHO and the Stop TB partnership.
Highlights of the TB team’s work
- March 2009: Launch of the joint ECDC/WHO Report “Tuberculosis Surveillance in Europe – 2007 (24 March)
- November 2008: ECDC/WHO Joint Surveillance Network Advising Group Meeting
- February 2008: Publication of the Framework Action Plan to fight Tuberculosis in the European Union
- January 2008 : Coordination of the Euro TB network transferred to ECDC and joint WHO EURO/ECDC surveillance for TB in place
- October 2007: ‘All against Tuberculosis’ WHO European Region Ministerial Forum and launch of the Berlin Declaration
- March 2007: First ECDC scientific seminar on TB in the European Parliament on World TB day