LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – When most people think of tuberculosis, or TB for short, maybe they think it’s just a third world disease. Or maybe some think it’s an older disease that has been long gone in the United States like polio. Neither of those statements are true, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.
Each year, March 24 is recognized as World TB Day. It’s the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced he had identified M.tuberculosis, the bacteria responsible for the disease.
According to the World Health Organization, 10.4 million people worldwide were sick with TB in 2015, and 1.8 million people died from the disease.
“We had 47 cases of active TB reported in 2016, which compares to 72 cases in 2015,” said Dr. Joe Iser with the Southern Nevada Health District. “The most encouraging sign is that we haven’t had any drug resistant TB within the last year,” said Dr. Iser.
At any given time, there are about 40-60 people undergoing treatment for active TB in Clark County under the supervision of the Health District. Also, people who have latent TB infection, those who are infected with TB, but who are not sick or contagious, are also receiving treatment from the Health District to prevent them from developing active TB disease.
“TB is a pulmonary disease,” said Dr. Iser. “Symptoms include heavy cough, blood when coughing, fever and night sweats,” Iser said.
The Southern Nevada Health District is the leading provider of TB services in Clark County. The TB Treatment and Control Clinic staff works to stop the transmission of TB in the community by ensuring people with active TB disease are appropriately treated, and those who are exposed to TB are evaluated and treated if necessary to prevent the further spread of the disease.