1960-2000 Tuberculosis is declining
The tuberculosis law was abolished in 1968 along with the separate organization for the treatment and follow-up of the disease. The Infectious Disease Act came into force in the following year, in which tuberculosis was listed as a dangerous infectious disease.
With the passing of time pulmonary tuberculosis became chiefly regarded as an older person’s disease, since after the infection tuberculosis bacterium may live in the body for years without causing any symptoms. Tuberculosis bacteria in a symptomless carrier of the disease are in a dormant state and the carrier is not contagious, but s/he faces a lifelong risk of falling ill. Old age or weakening of immunity due to medication can revive bacteria out of this dormant state.
Pulmonary tuberculosis is not only a disease of the elderly, alcoholics, lower social classes and immigrants, but it is also detected in young people who were born in Finland. Infections continue to take place even today and small epidemics occur occasionally. Today HIV-infected persons comprise a special risk group for tuberculosis infection globally.