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Santa Barbara County Recognizes World TB Day

World TB day commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

Each year, Santa Barbara County recognizes March 24, World TB Day as a day to raise the community’s awareness about TB disease and how it can be prevented.

On March 24, 2015, Supervisor Steve Lavagnino will present a proclamation in honor of this important date at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

In concert with this year’s World TB Day theme, “Find TB. Treat TB. Working together to eliminate TB,” the Santa Barbara County Disease Control Program is pleased to launch a campaign that provides comprehensive education to our medical and general communities about alternative treatment options for preventing TB disease in persons with dormant or latent TB infection.

Alternative treatment regimens can reduce the duration of treatment from 9 months to 12 weeks, significantly improving completion rates and incidence of TB disease. TB is treatable with medication, but untreated it can kill.

Each year, 9 million people become ill with TB, 1.5 million people die worldwide, and one-third of the world’s population is infected with TB.

In 2014, Santa Barbara County encountered 29 cases of active tuberculosis with 595 at-risk contacts identified. With local tuberculosis rates remaining steady, TB control staff continues to work collaboratively with community partners to identify and treat high-risk contacts and active tuberculosis cases. Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is committed to global efforts that aim for zero deaths and freedom of tuberculosis in our community and worldwide.

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

 

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