German physician Robert Koch identified the TB bacteria on 24 March 1882 and to mark this event, World TB Day is celebrated globally on this date. Tuberculosis or “TB” is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. TB rates steadily declined through most of the 20th century after the development of anti-TB medication and the introduction of the BCG. It reached its lowest incidence in 1987 but it has gradually increased again. Frequent travel and migration has made a major contribution to this increase. 8,655 new cases were diagnosed in the UK in 2008 and 39% of these cases resides in London. Most TB cases occur in young adults and in the non-UK born who may be slow to access care. National and regional targets have a goal to reduce and ultimately eliminate TB in the UK. To achieve these goals, TB services aim to reduce new infections, provide high quality treatment for all and to maintain low levels of drug resistance.
This year’s slogan is “TB is curable”. The TB team will be doing awareness raising activities on the day in the main entrance of the hospital and also at Southall Broadway Health Centre and Acton Town Centre. If anyone requires any more information please call us on 020 8967 ext 5282.
10 TB facts:
- TB is an airborne disease that spreads through the air in a fine aerosol of droplets when a person with infectious pulmonary TB coughs, sneezes, or talks
- TB can affect any individual regardless of social status, gender or age
- TB is a contagious disease but only people who are diagnosed with pulmonary TB are contagious
- If left untreated, a person with active TB can infect an average of 10-15 people every year
- TB can affect any part of the body but the most common site is the lungs
- A third of the world’s population is infected with the TB bacilli. One in ten people infected with TB will become sick with active TB in their lifetime
- There were 9.4 million new TB cases in 2008. 8,655 cases were from England
- 1.8 million people died from TB in 2008, including 500,000 people with HIV
- TB is one of the top three killer diseases globally along with Malaria and HIV
- TB is a treatable and curable disease
15 March 2010