York Region marks World Tuberculosis Day on March 24
NEWMARKET - The Regional Municipality of York joins communities across the world in marking World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on Saturday, March 24. This year’s theme, Stop TB in my lifetime, aims to eradicate TB deaths, provide faster treatment and a world free of TB.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an important public health issue with almost 1,600 new cases reported each year in Canada. In York Region, the local Public Health branch works to minimize the impact and spread of TB by:
• Working with health-care providers to ensure timely identification, assessment and management of all people with TB
• Providing TB medication at no cost
• Assisting those with TB through home visits for Directly Observed Therapy (DOT)
• Identifying, assessing and ensuring testing of those in contact with people diagnosed with TB
• Educating health-care providers and the public about TB
In 2011, York Region’s TB Control Program completed many initiatives, including:
• Conducted 85 case investigations for suspect and confirmed cases of TB
• Provided case management for 53 new cases of TB
• Notified 965 contacts of TB cases for testing
• Provided medication for 319 people with latent TB infection
• Conducted seven workplace and community screenings for 571 contacts
• Participated in health promotion activities including displays, media interviews and community presentations
Previously called “consumption,” TB has existed for centuries and has even been found in mammoth bones and Egyptian mummies. It is a serious disease that usually attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body, including lymph nodes, kidneys, urinary tract and bones. The bacteria that cause TB are spread when someone with active TB coughs. To become infected, a person usually has to spend many hours with someone who has TB.
The symptoms of TB in the lungs can include a bad cough lasting longer than three weeks, chest pain, 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.
World TB Day is recognized on March 24 to commemorate the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch discovered the M.tuberculosis bacteria. For more information on World Tuberculosis Day, please visit www.stoptb.org
For more information on TB or any other public health-related topic, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933 or visit www.york.ca/tb
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, York Region
1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106 • After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533 • firstname.lastname@example.org