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David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
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World Tuberculosis Day


Friday, March 24th is World Tuberculosis Day

Each year, we recognize World Tuberculosis Day on March 24. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis.The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in recognizing World Tuberculosis Day. The commemoration, held March 24th of each year, raises awareness about tuberculosis (TB).

Tuberculosis is an airborne disease and is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. People with latent TB infection often do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms nor are they contagious. However, an estimated 5 - 10% of TB infections become TB disease if not medically treated.

Since June 2016, doctors and laboratories are now required to report cases of tuberculosis infection (confirmed by a positive skin or blood test) to NMDOH in addition to cases of active TB disease. Preliminary data from 2016 reveals that hundreds of people in New Mexico are living with TB infection and could benefit from treatment to prevent activation of the disease.

In 2016, an estimated 39 people had active TB disease in New Mexico with several hundred cases of infection since new reporting requirements went into effect. More than 1.4 million people worldwide die every year from this preventable and treatable bacterial infection.

“Knowing who is infectious may save their lives down the line,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “In addition, being able to track and treat persons with TB infection can one day help lead to eliminating TB disease altogether.”

The CDC reports TB can be expensive to treat, particularly those that are antibiotic resistant. Drug resistant TB may cost an estimated $482,000 to treat per case and even non-drug resistant cases run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine When active TB finally makes itself known to patients, symptoms typically include a cough that does not go away, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, anorexia or fever.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of active TB, please contact the New Mexico Department of Health at 505-827-2473 or your primary care doctor for an evaluation Tuberculosis is treatable and curable once the individual is given the correct antibiotics.

For more information on active tuberculosis and TB Infection visit the Tuberculosis Prevention section of our website.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.


Versión en Español

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Día Mundial de la Tuberculosis