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WHO: TB Joins HIV As Most Deadly Infection

The World Health Organization (WHO) says tuberculosis (TB) now ranks alongside HIV as the world's most deadly infectious disease.

The UN health agency's Global Tuberculosis Report 2015 said TB killed 1.5 million people last year, despite big strides in treatment and prevention over the past 25 years.

"The number of TB deaths is unacceptably high: with a timely diagnosis and correct treatment, almost all people with TB can be cured," said the report released on October 28.

The spread of drug-resistant strains of TB is a key concern, combined with the need for new drug treatments and better access to care for those in need, said the document.

Across the world, 9.6 million people fell ill with TB last year, and 12 percent of those new cases were HIV-positive.

More than half of the world's TB cases are in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

The TB mortality rate has nearly halved since 1990, while the number of infections has also been decreased.

Deaths from HIV/AIDS have been falling because of improved access to antiretroviral drugs.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters