Each year Santa Barbara County recognizes March 24th, World TB Day, as a day to raise awareness of tuberculosis disease in our community. A proclamation acknowledging this important event will be presented at the March 18, 2014 Board of Supervisors meeting with Supervisor Lavagnino presenting the award.
World TB day commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. This year’s World TB Day message “Find TB. Treat TB. Working together to eliminate TB”, accentuates the need for everyone in our community to take action and be aware of the signs and symptoms of TB and how to prevent the disease.
TB can be cured with medication, but untreated it can kill. Despite the gradual decline in tuberculosis cases in the United States, locally the number of cases is not declining. Instead, cases are remaining steady and presenting in much more advanced disease states with varying levels of drug resistance. Santa Barbara County continues to heighten TB control efforts and encourages public and private medical communities to think TB and partner with public health to help prevent, control, and eliminate the disease.
• Each year 9-million people become ill with TB, 1.5 million people die world-wide, and one-third of the world’s population is infected with TB
• Since 1995, world-wide, 46 million people have been successfully treated and up to 6.8 million lives saved through Direct Observation Therapy
• In 2013, Santa Barbara County encountered 26 cases of active including one multi-drug resistant case
• In 2013, the Public Health Department Disease Control staff identified 311 at-risk individuals with close contact to active tuberculosis cases in effort of breaking the chain of TB transmission
• The Santa Barbara County Disease Control continues working 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.