March 24th is World TB Day, marking the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB). Dr. Koch’s discovery was the most important step taken toward the prevention and control of this deadly disease. Learn how new tests, shorter treatment regimens, and a focus on latent TB infection will help end TB in the U.S.
We do occasionally respond to active TB cases in Malheur County. More often we respond to reports of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Our Communicable Disease staff work with patients and health care providers to follow treatment protocol for both active and latent TB infections. In the United States, up to 13 million people may have latent TB infection. Without treatment, on average 1 in 10 people with latent TB infection will get sick with TB disease in the future. The risk is higher for people with HIV, diabetes, or other conditions that affect the immune system.
World TB Day is an opportunity to recognize our achievements in TB prevention and control and renew our commitment to eliminating this devastating disease in the United States. Clinicians, health care agencies, and community organizations, especially those serving populations at risk, have a critical role in TB elimination. Learn more from the CDC.