2024 World Tuberculosis Day Celebrated by Public Health Department
Health

Raising Awareness: The Importance of Ending Tuberculosis as Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Celebrates World TB Day

In recognition of World TB Day, held annually on March 24th, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is raising awareness about tuberculosis (TB) and its impact on millions of people worldwide. The theme for 2024 is “Yes! We Can End TB,” emphasizing the importance of working together to eliminate this infectious disease.

TB is a preventable and treatable airborne disease that affects individuals globally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting tested for TB through a blood test is crucial in determining if an individual has been exposed to the disease. Most TB cases 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. However, without treatment, LTBI can progress to active TB, leading to serious health complications.

Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer and County TB Controller, stresses 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 4.3 cases per 100,000 compared to the national average in the United States at 2.5 cases per 100,000 people. Collaborative efforts with local health providers, clinics, hospitals, and organizations have helped raise awareness about TB risk factors and provided resources for testing and treatment options available for both LTBI and active TB patients.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is committed to ending TB and welcomes community support in achieving this goal. For more information on how you can help or get tested for LTBI or active

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