Saturday, March 21, 2009

World TB Day is March 24

Tuberculosis (TB) is still a devastating infection. In the US we tend to think of TB as a disease of the past. "Consumption" is something from the old west, or Moulin Rouge. However, tuberculosis is still a deadly threat to the world.
  • 1/3 of the world's population is infected with TB
  • TB is a worldwide leading killer of women
  • 1 person dies from TB every 20 seconds
  • TB is the leading killer of people infected with HIV
  • 90% of people who test positive for HIV will die within months of contracting TB, if not properly treated
  • the drug regimen for treating standard TB in the developing world is only $20 per patient!
Treating TB takes a long time. People need to be able to afford to continue treatment, so drug resistant strains are not created. It will take the global community working together to prevent the spread of TB.

Tuberculosis is often spread through the air. It can occur in many parts of the body, but classically occurs in the lungs. Symptoms include:
  • night sweats
  • chest pain
  • coughing up blood
  • fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • chills
  • fever
  • cough lasting longer than 3 weeks
If you have any of these symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to TB please get tested! Testing is a simple process that involves injecting a small amount of fluid into your skin. It is much less painful than a blood draw. Since TB can be easily spread, please get tested as soon as you suspect you may be infected. Early detection and treatment are key ways to preventing the spread of TB.

I urge you to learn more about TB by visiting and

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