Connecticut Department of Public Health recognizes World Tuberculosis Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2023
CONTACT: Chris Boyle—Director of Communications
(860) 706-9654 – email@example.com
HARTFORD, Conn. — Health officials in Connecticut and throughout the world are recognizing March 24 as World Tuberculosis Day to increase awareness and vigilance about one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
Although lower numbers of TB disease cases were reported in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2022, Connecticut reported 67 cases, a 24% increase from 2021 and the exact same number of cases reported in 2019, corresponding to an incidence rate of 1.9/100,000. The U.S. also experienced a rebound in the number of TB disease cases to almost pre-pandemic levels, with 8,300 reported TB cases and an incidence rate of 2.5/100,000 population, a 5% increase from 2021.
March 24 commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. At the time of Dr. Koch’s announcement, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Dr. Koch’s discovery opened the way toward diagnosing and curing TB.
“While TB continues to be a major cause of disease and death worldwide, TB is both treatable and preventable. We have the tools to identify and treat people before they get sick. This is the key to eventually eliminating TB in Connecticut and throughout the world,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages all health providers to help prevent active TB disease by communicating with patients about latent TB infection. CDC’s Think. Test. Treat TB campaign includes an on-line hub for resources to help inform and guide conversations between patients and providers, as well as directions about how to order supporting materials.
The DPH TB Control Program is responsible for TB control efforts in the state and works with health care providers and local health departments in a variety of activities including monitoring for new cases, assuring completion of treatment of disease, investigating and treating contacts that have been recently exposed, and promoting screening for infection in a variety of settings.
For more information, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/tb/default.htm, https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/default.htm. You also can visit the Department of Public Health TB Control Program website at https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Tuberculosis/Tuberculosis-Control-Program, or call (860) 509-7722.