The number of people with tuberculosis (TB) in the Netherlands increased slightly in 2021, reaching 680. This figure is 9% higher than it was in 2020 (622 patients). In 296 of the patients the tuberculosis was found outside of the lungs. There were 384 patients with TB in their lungs.
Of these, 141 had open tuberculosis, the most contagious form. This is evident from key figures published by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in 2021.
Over three quarters of TB patients in the Netherlands are from countries where tuberculosis is common. In 2021, most of the TB patients had been born in Eritrea (65), followed by Morocco (51) and India (50).
The number of reports of TB in the Netherlands fell dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. This was probably partly due to the lower influx of migrants, the reduced spread of tuberculosis bacteria and the postponement of healthcare. The Covid-19 pandemic in the Netherlands carried on into 2021, leading to further periods of lockdowns and measures to curb transmission of the virus. This may once again have had an impact on the figures for TB. Despite the increase compared to 2020, the number of reports in 2021 is in line with the overall downward trend in TB reports in the Netherlands in recent decades.
The long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on tuberculosis rates in the Netherlands will become evident over the next few years. These developments are monitored closely by the RIVM.