Tuberculosis: Monitoring

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Number of cases of tuberculosis in Canada

In 2020 there were 1,772 cases of active tuberculosis reported in Canada. Foreign-born individuals and Indigenous Peoples accounted for the majority of cases. In 2020, among active tuberculosis cases with available information on place of birth and ethnic background, 1,303 were foreign-born individuals and 319 were Canadian-born, of whom 199 were Indigenous Peoples. In terms of percentages, this corresponds to:

  • 73.5% of active tuberculosis in foreign-born individuals
  • 11.2% in Canadian-born, including Indigenous Peoples who accounted for 1.6%

Rate of tuberculosis in Canada

The rate of active tuberculosis in Canada is among the lowest in the world. Canada experienced a steady decrease in the rate of tuberculosis between the 1940s and 1980s. Since then, the annual rates have remained about the same.

In 2020, the rate of active tuberculosis in Canada was 4.7 per 100,000 population. The rate was highest among Canadian-born Indigenous Peoples (12.7 per 100,000 population).

Number of cases of tuberculosis around the world

Worldwide, an estimated 9.9 million people fell ill with tuberculosis in 2020. However, only 5.8 million new cases of tuberculosis were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). This means that worldwide, approximately 41% of new cases went undiagnosed or were not reported.

How Canada monitors tuberculosis

Provincial and territorial public health authorities voluntarily submit data on all new and re-treatment cases of active tuberculosis disease in Canada. The federal government uses these data to report on national tuberculosis trends annually.

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