May 21, 2024 2:24 pm
The Public Health Department Commemorates World Tuberculosis Day 2024

The World TB Day, which is observed annually on March 24th, is a reminder that tuberculosis (TB) continues to affect millions of people worldwide. The theme for 2024 is “Yes! We Can End TB,” emphasizing the need for collective action to eliminate this air-borne infectious disease.

TB is preventable and treatable, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending individuals to get tested with a blood test. However, most TB cases come from the progression of latent TB infection (LTBI) to active TB. LTBI is a condition where there is a small amount of TB bacteria suppressed by the immune system, unable to spread TB to others. Without treatment, LTBI can multiply and develop into active TB. Treatment is 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 active TB develops and for community members to feel comfortable asking their providers to get tested for LTBI. In Santa Barbara County, the incidence rate of TB in 2022 was higher (4.3 cases per 100,000) compared to the national average in the United States (2.5 cases per 100,000). However, the County continues to work collaboratively 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

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