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The Public Health Department Commemorates World Tuberculosis Day 2024

The theme for the 2024 World TB Day is “Yes! We Can End TB,” as the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department recognizes this important day to raise awareness about the ongoing battle against tuberculosis (TB). This air-borne infectious disease affects millions of people worldwide, but it is both preventable and treatable.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals should get tested with a blood test to determine if they have latent TB infection (LTBI). LTBI is a condition where there is a small amount of TB bacteria suppressed by the immune system, unable to spread TB to others. Without treatment, LTBI can progress into active TB, which can be serious. Treatment options are available for both LTBI and active TB.

Dr. Henning Ansorg, Public Health Officer and County’s TB Controller, emphasized that treating infection before active TB develops is crucial in preventing its spread. He encourages community members to feel comfortable asking their providers to get tested for LTBI. By doing so, they can take proactive steps in identifying those at risk and preventing active cases of TB from developing.

In 2022, Santa Barbara County had an incidence rate of 4.3 cases per 100,000 compared to the national average in the United States of 2.5 cases per 100,000. However, the County continues to work collaboratively with health providers in local clinics, hospitals, and organizations to bring awareness and education on TB risk, testing, and treatment as vital steps in identifying those at risk and preventing active cases from developing.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department remains committed to ending TB once and for all. They encourage everyone in the medical and general community to join their efforts by learning more about this disease on their website: https://www

By Samantha Jones

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