Modified: March 22, 2017 3:08pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date: March 22, 2017
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
Friday, March 24th is World TB Day
Tuberculosis Remains a Life-Threatening Problem in the United States
ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) joins in recognizing Friday, March 24, 2014 as World TB Day. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).
“World TB Day provides the opportunity to raise awareness about TB-related problems and solutions and to support worldwide TB-control efforts. While great strides have been made to control and cure TB, people still get sick and die from TB in the United States. Much more needs to be done to eliminate TB” said Erie County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.
Many people are surprised to find out that TB is still a life-threatening problem, even in Erie County, despite the declining number of TB cases in the United States.
Burstein continued: “Anyone can become infected with TB. Not all infected individuals have obvious symptoms and health care providers may not consider TB during an initial evaluation for illness. In 2016, 13 cases of TB were reported in Erie County (for a rate of 1.4 cases per 100,000 residents).”
TB is spread by airborne transmission of the bacterium, often through a cough or sneeze. The disease usually affects the lungs, but can impact other body parts such as the lymph nodes, kidneys, bones or joints. Symptoms of TB infection may include sickness or weakness, low-grade fever or night sweats, a persistent cough, coughing up blood, chest pain, and/or weight loss.
Early TB detection and treatment is essential to preventing serious complications and further spread of the disease. Based on the type of TB infection, treatment generally includes treatment with anti-tuberculosis medication for several months and continued laboratory testing.
Anyone who has come into contact with someone who has TB is strongly advised to immediately contact the TB Control Program at 716.858.7687 or their health care provider for confidential testing.
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