MOSCOW, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Russia's tuberculosis mortality rate continues to decrease and has now reached about 7 percent, TASS cited member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Chuchalin as saying Friday.
"According to official data, the tuberculosis mortality is greatly decreasing. Now it is not higher than seven percent. This is basically a good figure, although in Western Europe and the United States this figure is lower," said Chuchalin.
He said the main challenge is that the 21st century's tuberculosis rate differs from last century's. Now the significant distinction is that tuberculosis is often combined with HIV.
"Under conditions of being combined with HIV, the pathogen of tuberculosis has new features and can be more severe. It is resistant to many medicines, because of the bacterium's mutation," said Chuchalin.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis generally affects lungs. According to the World Health Organization's report, tuberculosis remains one of the 10 main causes of human mortality in the world, ahead of HIV and malaria. In 2015, 1.8 million people died of tuberculosis.