The Public Health Department Commemorates World Tuberculosis Day 2024

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant health concern worldwide, affecting millions of people. To raise awareness about this airborne infectious disease, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department recognizes World TB Day held annually on March 24th. This year’s theme is “Yes! We Can End TB.”

TB is preventable and treatable, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends individuals to get tested with a blood test. Most TB cases result from the progression of latent TB infection (LTBI) to active TB. LTBI is a condition where there is a small amount of TB bacteria that the immune system suppresses, preventing it from spreading to others. Without treatment, LTBI can develop into active TB, which can be fatal if not treated promptly. Treatment options are available for both LTBI and active TB.

Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer and County’s TB Controller, emphasized that the best prevention strategy for TB is to treat infection before it becomes active and encourage community members to feel comfortable asking their providers for LTBI testing. In 2022, the incidence rate of TB in Santa Barbara County was higher than the national average in the United States. The County continues to collaborate with health providers in local clinics, hospitals, and organizations to bring awareness and education on TB risk, testing, and treatment as crucial steps in identifying those at risk and preventing active TB cases.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department remains committed to ending TB and encourages medical professionals and communities alike to join their efforts towards eliminating this global health issue. More information about tuberculosis can be found on https://www.cdc.gov/.

By Samantha Johnson

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