2024 World Tuberculosis Day Celebrated by Public Health Department


2024 World Tuberculosis Day Celebrated by Public Health Department

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department recognizes World TB Day, held annually on March 24th, to raise awareness about tuberculosis (TB) and its impact on millions of people worldwide. The theme for 2024 is “Yes! We Can End TB,” highlighting the importance of working together to eliminate this infectious disease.

TB is a preventable and treatable airborne disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends individuals get tested for TB through a blood test. Most TB cases result from latent TB infection (LTBI) progressing to active TB. LTBI occurs when a small amount of TB bacteria is present but suppressed by the immune system, preventing the spread of TB. However, without treatment, LTBI can progress to active TB. Treatment options are available for both LTBI and active TB.

Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer and County TB Controller, emphasizes the importance of treating TB infection before it progresses to active disease. He encourages community members to ask their healthcare providers about testing for LTBI as a preventive measure. In 2022, Santa Barbara County had a higher TB incidence rate (4.3 cases per 100,000) compared to the national average in the United States (2.5 cases per 100,000). Collaborative efforts with local health providers, clinics, hospitals, and organizations help raise awareness about TB risk, testing, and treatment to identify those at risk and prevent the development of active TB.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is dedicated to ending TB and welcomes the support and participation of the medical and general community in this mission. For more information on TB, visit https://www.cdc.gov.

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