Tag Archives: World TB Day

DHEC Works to Continue to Control and Eliminate Tuberculosis (TB)

When Dr. Robert Koch announced in 1882 his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB), it marked a critical turning point in the fight against the disease. It’s a fight that DHEC’s TB Control Division and its partners continue in South Carolina today.  

In recent years, the push to control TB across the globe had been making positive strides until 2020 when there was what many hope will turn out to be simply a brief setback.  

“For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020. The theme of World TB Day 2022 – ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives.’ – conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitment to end TB made by global leaders.” 

– Pan American Health Organization; World Health Organization, 2022 

March 24 is World TB Day, and DHEC’s TB Control Division will celebrate it on Friday March 25, 2022. We will join local, state, national, and global public health officials, and partners in recognizing Dr. Koch’s efforts as well as that of people across the world who have worked to control and eliminate TB. 

Click here to learn more about our work with partners to fight this illness. 

About TB 

Tuberculosis is a disease of the lungs that can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or speaking. It is treatable and preventable. We all can play an important role in eliminating tuberculosis in our community by understanding the signs and symptoms and helping to educate others.   

The signs and symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected, but the general signs and symptoms of TB disease include:  

  • feelings of sickness or weakness,  
  • weight loss,  
  • fever,  
  • night sweats, 
  • chest pain, 
  • coughing, and 
  • coughing up blood.  

Click here for a short video on one person’s story related to TB. 

DHEC Observes World TB Day, Recognizes Efforts of Those Who Work to End the Disease in SC

This World TB Day, DHEC joins local, state, national and global efforts to control and eliminate tuberculosis, as well as to celebrate the work people all over the world have done to address tuberculosis.

World TB Day is officially observed on March 24 of each year to commemorate the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes TB.

Tuberculosis is a disease of the lungs that can be spread by coughing, sneezing or speaking. Signs and symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. The signs and symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain and the coughing up of blood. The signs and symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.

The 2020 World TB Day theme is ”It’s Time”. DHEC will take the time to recognize the amazing work of those in our TB division across the state. Our statewide theme is ”It’s time for us to speak out, step in, and stand up to end TB.”

In observance of the day, DHEC will celebrate with all TB staff on Friday, March 20. The two-hour celebration will include lectures by our state TB Clinician, Dr. Frank Ervin and Lowcountry’s TB Clinician, Dr. Susan Dorman. Awards will be given out in various categories, and staff will be recognized for their great achievements of continued reduction in our state case rate.

Visit the DHEC website for more information on our World TB Day activities.

The time is now to ‘End TB!’

By Victoria Bethay

For many, tuberculosis (TB) seems to be a disease from another era, something our parents or grandparents might have had to worry about. TB, which is still around today, is a treatable bacterial disease found primarily in the lungs. It is spread from person to person through the air.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control works tirelessly to eliminate TB in our state through awareness campaigns targeting high-risk populations, education of medical staff on TB, and excellent patient care for those diagnosed with it.

To help build awareness, World TB Day has been designated for March 24 to commemorate the discovery of the mycobacterium that causes TB in people. This year’s theme, chosen in collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Stop TB and the National TB Controllers Association, is “End TB.” The strategy aims to eliminate this deadly disease worldwide, and DHEC plays a key role in the effort to reduce the number of cases in South Carolina.

Globally, 9.6 million people were diagnosed with active TB disease in 2014. The United States reported having 9,421 of those cases. In that same year, South Carolina diagnosed 79 cases of TB. South Carolina’s African-American population is at a much greater risk for developing TB – in 2014 this community made up 64.6 percent of TB cases statewide.

TB can be spread from person to person through the air when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, speaks or even sings. Individuals with active TB disease may have a cough lasting three weeks or longer, chest pain, coughing up blood or mucus, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever or chills, and night sweats.

If you have been exposed to someone with TB, or have any of the signs or symptoms of disease, contact your health care provider about getting screened. Current screening tests available for TB testing include: the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) and a blood test (IGRA). If you have been exposed to TB or have TB symptoms, ask your health care provider which test is best for you.

The time is now to “End TB!” For more information on resources offered by DHEC, visit our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/tb/ .