World Tuberculosis Day: Emphasizing the Importance of Collaborative Efforts to End This Airborne Disease

2024 World Tuberculosis Day Celebrated by Public Health Department

The World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, celebrated annually on March 24th, is an opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of TB on millions of people worldwide. The theme for 2024 is “Yes! We Can End TB,” emphasizing the importance of working together to eliminate this infectious disease.

TB is a preventable and treatable airborne disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. It can be transmitted through the air when someone with active TB coughs or sneezes, releasing droplets that contain the bacteria into the air. 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 incidence rate of active cases per 100,000 compared to the national average in the United States per 100,000 people. Collaborative efforts with local health providers, clinics, hospitals and organizations help raise awareness about risk factors for developing active disease and identify those at risk before it develops into full-blown illness.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is dedicated to ending

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