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www.wmfd.com - World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world. }}" />

   
 
 
Health Department observes World TB Day

Story By: Brigitte Coles

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 3/24/2014

World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.

It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. At the time of Koch's announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch's discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.

According to Carolyn Leone, RN, BSN, TB Controller for Richland County and a Public Health Clinic nurse at the Mansfield/Ontario/Richland County Health Department, Richland County is a “low risk community” for TB, with about one case reported a year. There are some unique characteristics about Richland County, however.

“Anytime you have communal living facilities, like ManCi and RiCi (the two correctional facilities in Richland County), you have an elevated risk level,” says Leone. That’s why the Health Department does “targeted testing” for employees in those situations, as well as health care workers (including everyone employed at the Health Department). “We don’t do testing for the general public unless they are directed us to by their health care provider,” Leone says. “If you have any question, call the Health Department (419-774-4700) and ask to speak to a Clinic TB nurse.”

Cost for a TB test is $18 and appointments are necessary. TB is curable, but, according to the Stop TB Partnership, our current efforts to find, treat and cure everyone who gets ill with the disease are not sufficient.

Of the nine million people a year who get sick with TB, a third of them are "missed" by public health systems. Many of these three million people live in the world’s poorest, most vulnerable communities and include groups such as migrants, miners, drug users and sex workers.

World TB Day calls for a global effort to find, treat and cure the three million and accelerate progress towards zero TB deaths, infections, suffering and stigma.

MORE INFORMATION ON TB (from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

What is TB? Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. A person with TB can die if they do not get treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of TB? The general symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. The symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain, and the coughing up of blood. Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.

How is TB Spread? TB germs are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. These germs can stay in the air for several hours, depending on the environment. Persons who breathe in the air containing these TB germs can become infected; this is called latent TB infection.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Exposed to Someone with TB Disease? People with TB disease are most likely to spread the germs to people they spend time with every day, such as family members or coworkers. If you have been around someone who has TB disease, you should go to your doctor or your local health department for tests.

How Do You Get Tested for TB? There are two tests that can be used to help detect TB infection: a skin test or TB blood test. The Mantoux tuberculin skin test is performed by injecting a small amount of fluid (called tuberculin) into the skin in the lower part of the arm. A person given the tuberculin skin test must return within 48 to 72 hours to have a trained health care worker look for a reaction on the arm. The TB blood tests measure how the patient’s immune system reacts to the germs that cause TB.

How many cases of tuberculosis (TB) were reported in the United States in 2012? A total of 9,945 TB cases (a rate of 3.2 cases per 100,000 persons) were reported in the United States in 2012. Both the number of TB cases reported and the case rate decreased; this represents a 5.4% and 6.1% decline, respectively, compared to 2011. The number of reported TB cases in 2012 was the lowest recorded since national reporting began in 1953.

Is the rate of TB declining in the United States? Yes. Since the 1992 TB resurgence peak in the United States, the number of TB cases reported annually has decreased.

How many people died from TB in the United States? There were 569 deaths from TB in 2010, the most recent year for which these data are available. Compared to 2000 data, when 776 deaths from TB occurred, this represents a 27% decrease in TB deaths over a decade.

   
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