World Tuberculosis Day Calls for Action to End TB
March 24, 2021 – Each year, we commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, nearly 4000 lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000.
“TB is still present in our community. Although it is preventable and curable, many people in Williamson County still suffer from the disease,” said Lori Eitelbach, BSN, RN, WCCHD Tuberculosis Program Manager. “Anyone can get TB, and our current efforts to find and treat active TB disease and latent TB infection are not sufficient. Misdiagnosis of TB still exists, and health care professionals often do not “think TB”.”
Texas saw a slight increase in the number of cases reported in 2019. A total of 1,159 cases were reported in 2019 compared to 1,129 in 2018, placing infection rates higher than the U.S. national average. In 2019, Texas remained in the top five states across the country in having the highest rates of TB. In 2020, Williamson County had more than double the number of active cases as compared to the previous year.
The WCCHD tuberculosis program tests and treats TB patients with the goal of preventing the spread of, and eradication of TB.
For more information on TB visit www.cdc.gov/tb or call the WCCHD TB Program at 512-248-7651 or visit www.wcchd.org/services/health_services/tuberculosis.php