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World TB Day 2019 – “IT’S TIME”

Author: Jacquelyn Langdon/Friday, March 15, 2019/Categories: Health

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Each year, we recognize World TB Day on March 24. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB).  World TB Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of TB.  The CDC, together with partners and colleagues from around the world, share successes in TB prevention and control and raise awareness of the challenges that hinder progress toward the elimination of this devastating disease. The stigma associated with TB may also place certain populations at higher risk and keep them from seeking medical care or follow-up care. The theme of World TB Day 2019 is “IT’S TIME”. 

Up to 13 million people in the United States have latent TB infection and without treatment, they are at risk for developing TB disease in the future.  Treatment to eliminate the germ and prevent the progression to TB disease is initiated at the Niagara County Department of Health’s latent TB clinic.  Dr. Norman Fiorica, who specializes in pulmonology, is the consulting physician for the Department.  The nursing staff, under the direction of Dr. Fiorica, cares for Niagara County residents who are in treatment for latent TB or have TB Disease.  A clinic is also held once a month at the Niagara County Jail and if indicated, treatment is initiated at that time.

“Although TB is not a common occurrence, the Niagara County Department of Health continues to manage the risks associated with TB on a regular basis.  Niagara County, being an international destination for tourism, requires us to be ever vigilant on the risks we face.  This is essential to controlling and eliminating TB in the United States.  Our public health system and private providers play a crucial role in this effort,” stated Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton.    

For more information about tuberculosis, contact the Niagara County Department of Health Nursing Division at (716) 278-1900.

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