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Overview of the epidemiological situation in 2006. The latest available information from countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region carries important signals about the tuberculosis (TB) situation in this part of the world [1]. The total number of TB cases reported in the Region was slightly lower in 2006 than in 2005 (422,830 versus 426,457), reflecting a decrease in three-fourths of the reporting countries. Most TB cases in 2006 (73%) were reported by 12 former Soviet Union republics in the East, 21% by the European Union and West (EU and West) and 6% by the remaining countries in the Balkans (Table 1; for the composition of geographical areas see Box). National TB notification rates ranged from 4 to 282 per 100,000 population. The total TB notification rate for the whole Region has increased very slightly between 2002 and 2006, from 46 to 48 cases per 100,000, although rates of previously untreated TB cases appear to be on the decrease in both the East and West (Figure 1). We describe the main epidemiological features of TB cases notified in each of the abovementioned areas using surveillance data reported by the countries themselves.


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