TB has been found in mammoth bones and Egyptian mummies and has affected mankind since its appearance despite efforts to control and eliminate it. Even with recent progress in managing and treating TB, it remains an important public health issue. In Canada, almost 1,600 new cases of TB are reported each year. Challenges such as drug resistant TB and TB-HIV co-infection threaten to undermine TB control efforts worldwide.
In 2009, the accomplishments of the TB Control Unit in York Region included the following:
• Conducted over 83 case investigations for suspect and confirmed cases of TB
• Provided case management for over 47 new cases of TB
• Notified 541 contacts of TB cases for testing
• Provided medication for over 255 persons with latent TB infection
• Conducted five workplace screenings and tested 132 contacts
• Participated in health promotion activities that included displays, a media interview and community presentations
TB has existed for centuries and used to be called "consumption". It is a serious disease that usually attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, urinary tract and bones. The bacteria that causes TB is spread through the air when someone with active TB disease of the lungs or airways coughs, sneezes or sings. To become infected, a person usually has to spend many hours with someone who has TB disease.
The symptoms of TB disease in the lungs can include a bad cough lasting longer than three weeks, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum, weakness or feeling very tired, weight loss, lack of appetite, chills, fever and night sweats. Despite its severity, TB is completely curable with antibiotics.
For more information on TB or any other health-related topic, contact York Region Health Connection
at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca