Raising Awareness About Tuberculosis: Yes! We Can End TB in Santa Barbara County

The Public Health Department Commemorates World Tuberculosis Day 2024

Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne infectious disease that continues to affect millions of people worldwide. To raise awareness about this disease, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department recognizes World TB Day held annually on March 24th. This year’s theme is “Yes! We Can End TB.”

TB is preventable and treatable, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends individuals to get tested with a blood test. The majority of TB cases come from the progression of latent TB infection (LTBI) to active TB. LTBI is a condition where there is a small amount of TB bacteria suppressed by the immune system, unable to spread TB to others. Without LTBI treatment, TB bacteria can multiply and develop into active TB. Treatment is available for both LTBI and active TB.

Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer and County’s TB Controller, shared that the best prevention strategy for TB is to treat infection before active TB develops and for community members to feel comfortable asking their providers to get tested for LTBI. He also emphasized that early detection and treatment are crucial steps in identifying those at risk and preventing active TB.

In 2022, the incidence rate of TB in Santa Barbara County was higher (4.3 cases per 100,000) compared to the national average in the United States (2.5 cases per 100,000). The County continues to work collaboratively with health providers in local clinics, hospitals, and organizations to bring awareness and education on TB risk, testing, and treatment as crucial steps in identifying those at risk and preventing active

Sophia Reynolds

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