Ending Tuberculosis: Collective Efforts Needed to Raise Awareness and Save Lives

2024 World Tuberculosis Day Celebrated by Public Health Department

In 2024, the World TB Day theme is “Yes! We Can End TB”, highlighting the need for collective efforts to eliminate this airborne disease. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department recognizes this day annually to raise awareness about tuberculosis (TB) and its impact on millions of people worldwide.

TB is a preventable and treatable disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Most cases of TB result from latent TB infection (LTBI), which occurs when a small amount of TB bacteria is present but suppressed by the immune system, preventing the spread of TB. Without treatment, LTBI can progress to active TB. Treatment options are available for both LTBI and active TB, making it important to get tested as early as possible.

Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer and County TB Controller, emphasizes the importance of treating TB infection before it progresses to active disease. He encourages community members to ask their healthcare providers about testing for LTBI as a preventive measure. In 2022, Santa Barbara County had a higher incidence rate of active TB cases (4.3 cases per 100,000) compared to the national average in the United States (2.5 cases per 100,000). Collaborative efforts with local health providers, clinics, hospitals, and organizations help raise awareness about TB risk, testing, and treatment to identify those at risk and prevent the development of active TB.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is dedicated to ending TB and welcomes the support and participation of the medical and general community in this mission. For more information on TB and how you can help end it once and for all, visit https://www.cdc.gov/tb/.

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