Ky. Dept. for Public Health: “Unite to End TB” on World TB Day

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Tuberculosis

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH,) is reminding Kentuckians that March 24 is World TB Day.

This year’s theme from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is “Unite to End TB.” To show his support, Governor Matthew Bevin has declared March 2017 as “TB Awareness Month”.

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“Many people assume that TB is no longer a concern in this country, but we continue to see cases each year – in Kentucky and around the U.S.,” said DPH Commissioner Hiram C. Polk, Jr., M.D. “While public health has made great strides in preventing the spread of the disease, we are especially concerned with the recent emergence of multi-drug resistant TB.  We hope everyone will take the opportunity on World TB Day to learn more about TB, particularly how it is spread and how it can be treated if someone is exposed to or contracts TB.”

The observance was created to commemorate the date in 1882 when Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB.  Among infectious diseases caused by a single agent or pathogen, TB remains the second leading cause of death in adults worldwide, second only to HIV-AIDS.  World TB Day is one of eight globally recognized public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).

TB is a potentially fatal disease that usually attacks the lungs but can attack any part of the body, for example, the kidneys, spine or brain.  The disease is commonly diagnosed in Kentucky, the United States and all over the world.  In fact, the CDC estimates that in 2015, 10.4 million people developed TB and 1.8 million died from the disease.

More information about TB as well as Kentucky’s efforts to track and prevent the spread of the disease can be found at http://www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/epi/tb.htm.