Cases of measles, tuberculosis, scurvy, whooping cough and cholera have witnessed an increase over the past five years in Britain, according to a new report published by the National Health Service. The diseases which have been almost wiped out in the developed countries for past few decades are possibly making a comeback. The NHS report indicated that there were 14,000 suspected cases of scarlet fever in year 2014, the highest since the 1960s.
Health experts warn that Victorian Era disease incidents could rise further if timely steps aren’t taken. While tuberculosis rates in Britain have dropped over the last five years, the number is still high in certain neighborhoods. Health experts blame the reduction in spending on social services and poverty among certain sections of society. Malnutrition and lack of cleanliness could also be factors for the rise in number of cases.
Over the last five years, scarlet fever incidents have gone up by 136 percent. Cholera related illnesses have spiked by 300 percent. Scurvy cases have gone up by 39 percent in the last five years, according to NHS report. The report suggests that Britain, and other developed countries, aren’t immune from Victorian era diseases.
In some parts of Britain, tuberculosis rates are higher than Rwanda, Iraq and Guatemala, the countries with generally higher number of cases. Due to spending cuts on social services, many people aren’t able to get timely access to medical services.
NHS report further added that most of these diseases are treatable. These diseases can be controlled with continuous effort and improving access to public health services.
Tuberculosis surpassed HIV and AIDS as the largest global killer this year, and even in the United States the decrease TB rates has slowed in the last several years.
Dr. Nuria Martinez-Alier, an immunologist in London said, "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."
Some experts in England call attention to a large recent increase in malnutrition -- the number of people admitted to the hospital with malnutrition listed as the primary or secondary cause doubled in three years -- as part of the cause of increases in certain diseases.
Dianne Jeffrey, chairs of the Malnutrition Task Force said, "Much malnutrition is preventable, so it is totally unacceptable that estimates suggest there are at least one million older people malnourished or at risk of malnourishment."