The Public Health Department Commemorates World Tuberculosis Day 2024

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a global health concern, with millions of people affected worldwide. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is raising awareness about TB through the annual observance of World TB Day on March 24th. This year’s theme is “Yes! We Can End TB.”

TB is an air-borne infectious disease that can be prevented and treated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals should undergo testing for TB using a blood test. Most cases of TB arise from the progression of latent TB infection (LTBI) to active TB. LTBI is a condition in which there is a small amount of TB bacteria suppressed by the immune system, making it unable to spread the disease to others. If not treated, LTBI can multiply and turn into active TB, which can be dangerous and contagious. Fortunately, treatment options are available for both LTBI and active TB.

Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer and County’s TB Controller, emphasizes that the best strategy for preventing TB is to treat infection before it develops into active disease. He encourages community members to feel comfortable asking their healthcare providers for LTBI testing.

In 2022, Santa Barbara County had an incidence rate of 4.3 cases per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 2.5 cases per 100,000 in the United States. The County continues to collaborate with local clinics, hospitals, and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of testing and treatment in identifying those at risk and preventing active disease.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department remains committed to ending tuberculosis once and for all. They urge everyone in the medical community and general public to join their efforts towards this common goal by visiting https://www

By Aiden Johnson

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