DPH's Tuberculosis Program staff.
Roughly one-third of the
world's population is estimated to be infected with the
bacteria causing tuberculosis (TB). And in 2011, there were
almost 1.4 million tuberculosis-related deaths worldwide.
March 24 is World Tuberculosis
Day and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) will
join the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association and
others March 23 for the seventh annual Tuberculosis
Awareness Walk to raise awareness of the disease.
"We have the
ability to stop TB in our lifetime: the drugs, the
diagnostics and a dedicated public health work force that
performs heroic deeds for their patients every day," said
Rose-Marie Sales, M.D., program director of DPH's
Tuberculosis Program. "We need to let more people know that
TB has not gone away and that a strong public health
infrastructure is crucial to stop the spread of this
infectious but curable disease."
Georgia are on the rise, increasing 3.5 percent from 347
cases in 2011 to 359 cases in 2012. The average cost of
treating an uncomplicated case of tuberculosis is around
$5,500, but the cost of treating a multi-drug-resistant
tuberculosis (MDR-TB) case is more than $250,000.There was
one MDR-TB case last year in Georgia.
can impact people in various ways. People with healthy
immune systems can become infected. Like the common cold,
tuberculosis spreads through the air when infected people
cough, spit, talk or sneeze. Each person sick with
tuberculosis can infect 10 to 15 people a year if not
can also be detrimental to someone affected by HIV or AIDS
and is the leading cause of death among persons infected
with HIV. But treatment can extend the life of persons
infected with HIV two to five years.
also has an economical impact. Lost work time for a person
sick with tuberculosis is three to four months while lost
income is about 20 percent of annual household income.
On a national
level, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently made
strides to fight MDR-TB by approving a tuberculosis drug
that is the first new medicine to fight the deadly infection
in several decades. The agency approved Sirturo, the first
medicine specifically designed for treating
multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, for use with other older
drugs to fight hard-to-treat tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis Awareness Walk will be held in Grant Park,
beginning at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Activities
include live music and family-friendly activities like face
painting. Speakers will provide education about the disease
and its impact on Georgia.
participated in the walk every year it has been held and
would not miss an opportunity to educate the public about TB
and its effect on the state, nation and the world," Sales
to register in advance. Click
for more information about tuberculosis.