How much do you know about Tuberculosis? How much does your doctor know about Tuberculosis? According to Ricardo Gonzalez-Rothi, MD, FCCP, in a poll done a few years ago of doctors in Florida's private sector, 50% of clinicians polled felt (wrongly) that TB could be contracted through direct contact with personal/household items of a diseased person! He continued on to say that four out of every five respondents indicated that they had not had continuing medical education in tuberculosis within the prior two years.
Fact: TB spreads through the air from person to person.
According to Mark D. Fussell, "TB continues to be a serious public health threat in the state of Florida. In 1997, Florida reported 1400 TB cases, fourth highest in the U.S." He continues by saying "Persons of color are most disproportionately affected by TB in Florida. In fact Black/Non-Hispanic persons represent roughly 50% of total cases annually.
Fact: Over 900 million women are infected with TB worldwide. The number of TB infections is up significantly since 1985 among children under the age of 15.
With the help of Lafayette County Health Department the number of Tuberculosis cases in Lafayette County is dropping. There was only one case in 2003. But we cannot drop our guard yet. There are still people in our community who have been in contact with one or more active cases of Tuberculosis in the last five years who have not been tested for Tuberculosis infection. 10-20% of these will eventually develop Tuberculosis disease and will infect family, friends and neighbors.
Fact: TB is a treatable disease and can be cured!