On March 24, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging people to learn about Tuberculosis (TB) and its impact in awareness of World TB Day, according to a release by the DPH.
“World TB Day is observed every year on March 24, the day in 1882 Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB), which opened the path toward diagnosing and curing this disease,” the release said. “World TB Day is a time to raise awareness of TB and its impact here in Georgia and around the world.”
According to the release, TB is a leading global cause of death by infections disease and claims 1.5 million lives each year, but TB rates are much lower in Georgia and the rest of the United States than the global average. The disease is caused by bacteria that are spread through the air, and TB most often affects the lungs but can spread to other parts of the body too.
“Symptoms of pulmonary TB disease include a productive cough that lasts more than 3 weeks, coughing up blood and chest pain,” the release said. “Other symptoms of active TB disease include fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, chills and night sweats.”
District 2 Public Health and the 13 county health departments in the district are working along with a worldwide effort to eliminate TB, the release said. Strategies being used to achieve this goal include early diagnosis of TB, completion of TB reticent by directly observed therapy, locating, screening and treating contacts who have been exposed to active TB, targeted TB testing among high-risk individuals and preventative treatment for TB infections.
“TB testing is offered in all 13 of our county health departments, and we work with local healthcare and community agencies to provide education, follow-up testing and care,” the release said. “Together, we can prevent illness, reduce transmission and ensure treatment of TB.”
For more information about World TB and TB in general, go to https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/default.htm. To find the location of your local District 2 County Health Department, go to https://phdistrict2.org/.