Taking TB by the Horns: Eliminating the Disease with Collective Efforts on World TB Day

2024 World Tuberculosis Day Celebrated by Public Health Department

Tuberculosis (TB) is a preventable and treatable airborne disease that affects millions of people worldwide. On March 24th, we celebrate World TB Day, which aims to raise awareness about the impact of TB and the importance of working together to eliminate this infectious disease. The theme for 2024 is “Yes! We Can End TB,” highlighting the collective effort required to achieve this goal.

TB is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms may include coughing, chest pain, fever, and weight loss. While most TB cases result from latent TB infection (LTBI), which 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.

Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer and County TB Controller in Santa Barbara County 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 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

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