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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health unit recognizes World Tuberculosis Day

Mar 24, 2022
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – Each year, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) commemorates World Tuberculosis (TB) on March 24, to raise awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – Each year, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) commemorates World Tuberculosis (TB) on March 24, to raise awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB. For most living in Simcoe Muskoka, the risk of being exposed to TB is low; however, recognition of World TB Day at a local level is essential to increase the community's awareness of this serious infectious disease to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis globally.

Although TB is preventable, treatable and curable with antibiotics, it remains one of the most common and deadly infectious diseases in the world today. It is responsible for the deaths of almost one and a half million people each year, mostly in developing countries where diagnosis and treatment are not readily available.

Every year in Canada there are approximately 1,600 new cases of active TB reported. Those who have lived or travelled extensively in countries where TB is widespread are at higher risk of having contact with the bacteria. First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada continue to be disproportionately affected by TB.

From 2000-2021, Simcoe Muskoka reported 79 cases of TB. Each case requires public health resources in prevention, control, and treatment. Tuberculosis is a reportable disease; therefore, when an active case of TB is identified in the community the health unit investigates close contacts of the individual to determine if any other persons have become infected. If these contacts develop a latent infection, they are offered preventive medication to keep them from becoming sick. Those taking medications are monitored by public health throughout their treatment.

TB is an airborne bacterial infection caused by the organism Mycobacterium tuberculosis that primarily affects the lungs, although other organs and tissues may be involved. People with active TB can transmit the bacteria to others through the air by coughing and sneezing droplets that can be inhaled by people who are close by.

World Tuberculosis Day is an important occasion to mobilize society towards eliminating TB as a global public health burden. This year’s theme as designated by the World Health Organization is “Invest to End TB. Save Lives”. For more information, please visit StopTBCanada.ca.

For more information about TB symptoms, how it spreads, who is at risk, testing and treatment, and how TB can be prevented, visit smdhu.org. 

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