Tuberculosis returning to Canadian Arctic

Canadian health officials say there has been an alarming rise in tuberculosis among Indigenous peoples in the arctic.

The Nunavut territory has recorded its 98th case in 2010. The (Toronto) Globe and Mail reported that Nunavut’s infection rate is 62 times the national average and is rated one of the world’s worst places for respiratory health.

In the 1950s, the federal government took one in every seven Inuit from their homes and sent them to southern sanatoriums. Many never returned, and their families rarely found out how they died.
“There remains a lot of residual negativity against the healthcare system because of that,” said Isaac Sobol, Nunavut’s chief medical officer. Tuberculosis is fostered by Third World living conditions and dormant microbes in survivors of earlier outbreaks.

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