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Sudanese tuberculosis outbreak (2023−present)

Tuberculosis outbreak in Sudan (during the War in Sudan (2023–present))
First outbreakKhartoum (most likely)
DateMay 2023 – present
Confirmed casesSeveral thousand as of 8 May 2023, numbers could be higher than 10,000
Hundreds of people dead, according to the UN

An ongoing outbreak of tuberculosis, an infectious disease commonly known as "TB", was confirmed in Sudan in May 2023.[1]

Sudan, along with over 34,000 cases in Ukraine, reported a huge surge in tuberculosis cases which had decreased significantly for the past few years.[2][3]


Tuberculosis is spread from one person to the next through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze.[4][5] People with Latent TB do not spread the disease.[4] Active infection occurs more often in people with HIV/AIDS and in those who smoke.[4] Diagnosis of active TB is based on chest X-rays, as well as microscopic examination and culture of body fluids.[6] Diagnosis of latent TB relies on the tuberculin skin test (TST) or blood tests.[6]

Prevention of TB involves screening those at high risk, early detection and treatment of cases, and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine.[7][8][9] Those at high risk include household, workplace, and social contacts of people with active TB.[8] Treatment requires the use of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time.[4] Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, with increasing rates of multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).[4]



In the early hours of the morning of 15 April 2023, the RSF started a series of assaults on key buildings in Khartoum, primarily the Khartoum International Airport. During their attack on the airport, the RSF reportedly attacked a Saudi plane which was arriving at the airport, but no casualties have been reported among the passengers and crew. The armed forces and the insurgents were engaged in fierce fighting.[10][11] The RSF also captured the presidential palace, the residence of the former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, and attacked a military base.[12][13] Users on Facebook Live and Twitter documented the Sudanese Air Force flying above the city, and striking the RSF targets.[14]


On 8 May 2023, the UN announced a significant outbreak of tuberculosis in Sudan and Ukraine. It said that the disease was killing an estimated 4,400 people per day including 700 children. It confirmed at least 34,000 cases in Ukraine and a huge but unspecified amount in Sudan.[3]


  1. ^ "Ukraine, Sudan conflicts fuel alarming surge in tuberculosis". CTVNews. 8 May 2023. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  2. ^ Hassanain, Sara A.; Edwards, Jeffrey K.; Venables, Emilie; Ali, Engy; Adam, Khadiga; Hussien, Hafiz; Elsony, Asma (16 May 2018). "Conflict and tuberculosis in Sudan: a 10-year review of the National Tuberculosis Programme, 2004-2014". Conflict and Health. 12 (1): 18. doi:10.1186/s13031-018-0154-0. ISSN 1752-1505. PMC 5954449. PMID 29785203.
  3. ^ a b Lederer, Edith M. (8 May 2023). "Ukraine, Sudan conflicts fuel alarming surge in tuberculosis". Los Angeles Times. The Associated Press. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Tuberculosis (TB)". Archived from the original on 30 July 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Basic TB Facts". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 13 March 2012. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b Konstantinos A (2010). "Testing for tuberculosis". Australian Prescriber. 33 (1): 12–18. doi:10.18773/austprescr.2010.005.
  7. ^ Hawn TR, Day TA, Scriba TJ, Hatherill M, Hanekom WA, Evans TG, et al. (December 2014). "Tuberculosis vaccines and prevention of infection". Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. 78 (4): 650–71. doi:10.1128/MMBR.00021-14. PMC 4248657. PMID 25428938.
  8. ^ a b Implementing the WHO Stop TB Strategy: a handbook for national TB control programmes. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO). 2008. p. 179. ISBN 978-92-4-154667-6. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  9. ^ Harris RE (2013). "Epidemiology of Tuberculosis". Epidemiology of chronic disease: global perspectives. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 682. ISBN 978-0-7637-8047-0.
  10. ^ "Sudan unrest: RSF captures presidential palace as violence rages". Archived from the original on 16 April 2023. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  11. ^ "Saudi airline says plane came under fire at Khartoum International Airport". Reuters. 15 April 2023. Archived from the original on 16 April 2023. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Sudan: Paramilitary group says it controls palace, Khartoum airport". The Jerusalem Post | 15 April 2023. Archived from the original on 16 April 2023. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  13. ^ "Sudan's RSF say it seized presidential palace, Khartoum airport in apparent coup bid". Al Arabiya English. 15 April 2023. Archived from the original on 16 April 2023. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  14. ^ "Fighting between Sudan military rivals enters a second day, with dozens dead". CNN. 15 April 2023. Archived from the original on 15 April 2023. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
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Sudanese tuberculosis outbreak (2023−present)
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