March 23, 2010
Nassau County Tuberculosis (TB) Rates Continue to Drop
2009 Had Fewest TB Cases Ever Reported
World TB Day is March 24. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). Among infectious diseases, TB remains a leading killer of adults in the world, with an estimated 2 million TB-related deaths worldwide each year.
Nassau County Department of Health commemorates World TB Day by announcing that in 2009, Nassau County had the fewest cases of active tuberculosis in its history. Nassau County had 38 confirmed cases of TB in 2009. This was down from the previous lowest total of 43 in 2008. The rate of active TB infection among Nassau County residents was 2.9 cases per 100,000, well below the national rate of 3.8 per 100,000.
Nassau County Department of Health’s Bureau of Tuberculosis Control oversees the public health effort of appropriately treating TB patients and provides guidance and education for Nassau’s health care providers. One component of this program is Directly Observed Therapy (DOT). In DOT, trained Department of Health staff meets with a person who has TB to help him or her remember to take the medicines to treat TB – this ensures compliance and is an importance measure in preventing drug resistant TB.
Active TB cases in Nassau County:
For additional information about TB, visit the New York State Department of Health web site at
http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/tuberculosis/fact_sheet.htm or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/tb/