Testing and treatment are keys to TB elimination

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The California Department of Public Health has announced that 2,091 new cases of tuberculosis (TB) were identified state-wide in 2018, an increase of 32 new cases when compared to 2017.  Solano County reported 29 new cases in 2018, up three new cases from the prior year. TB is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases and is one of the top ten global causes of death, causing more deaths each year than HIV/AIDS. Solano Public Health’s Communicable Diseases Bureau continues to advocate for increased testing and treatment of latent TB infection because treatment prevents people from developing TB disease. Treatment of latent TB infection is essential to achieve a TB-free California. World TB Day falls on March 24, 2019, and this year’s theme is: It’s Time! More than 2,000 people are diagnosed with TB disease in California every year, consistently making up over 20 percent of all cases diagnosed across the nation. In California, 10 percent of those diagnosed with TB disease die from TB.  The disease is preventable by treating latent TB infection, but most individuals with latent TB infection have not been diagnosed and treated, have no symptoms, and are not contagious. Without treatment, those with the TB infection are at high risk of becoming sick with TB disease in the future. “Anyone can catch TB. It is airborne, highly contagious, and knows no borders,” said Dr. Michael Stacey, Solano County TB Controller. “It’s time for all of us to understand our risk for TB, to get screened and treated as necessary. The sooner TB is diagnosed, the earlier it can be treated and cured.” The California Tuberculosis Controllers Association (CTCA) provides an interactive map of California that provides 2018 TB data for all counties.   Symptoms of TB disease can include a cough for more than two to three weeks, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. When a person with TB disease coughs, people who share that same air can become infected as well. People born outside of the United States continue to experience higher TB rates compared to their U.S.-born counterparts, with the highest rates in Solano among Asians and Hispanics. Others at high risk for TB include those who have traveled to or lived in a country with an elevated TB rate, have weakened immune systems, or have come in close contact to someone with infectious TB. If you have a risk factor for TB or are unsure, ask your health care provider about testing and treatment to protect yourself and your family. A list of TB testing sites in Solano can be found here. TB screening and treatment are essential to eliminate TB. It’s time to stop the spread of TB together.]]>

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Las pruebas y el tratamiento son claves para la eliminación de TB

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