(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) will host an educational event to mark World TB Day today at Clowes Auditorium in the Indianapolis Public Library.
The event is free and will cover topics including tuberculosis (TB) radiology, testing, and TB survivor stories. It will also feature a regional breakout session to foster collaboration and networking among local TB partners.
“Knowing the signs and symptoms of this serious and sometimes fatal disease is critical to ending TB in Indiana and the United States,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “We encourage health care providers to be mindful that TB is still present in Indiana, and we urge all Hoosiers to learn about it and get tested, particularly if they are in a high-risk group.”
In 2018, 116 cases of TB disease were reported in Indiana, a 16 percent increase over the year prior. The number of Hoosiers who died due to TB increased as well, with a total of 10 deaths being reported in 2018, compared to just six in 2017.
TB is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which primarily affect the lungs but can affect other organs, such as the brain, kidneys, and spine. TB bacteria are released into the air whenever someone with infectious TB sneezes, coughs, talks or sings. Once inhaled by someone else, the bacteria can be inactive, or they can settle in the lungs and begin to grow.
People who are infected with TB don’t feel sick, don’t have any symptoms and aren’t contagious unless and until their infection develops into active TB disease. Approximately 10 percent of people infected with TB bacteria will develop active TB disease.
Symptoms of active TB include a bad cough lasting longer than two weeks, coughing up blood, chest pain, fatigue or weakness, fever, weight and appetite loss, sweating at night and chills.
Some populations may be at higher risk of contracting TB, including individuals who have traveled from areas of the world with high rates of TB or members of groups with high rates of transmission. For a list of populations at risk, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/risk.htm.
Go to https://worldtbday2019indy.eventbrite.com to learn more about the ISDH’s World TB Day event and to register. The library is located at 40 E. St. Clair St. in Indianapolis.
To learn more about TB, visit the ISDH’s website at http://www.in.gov/isdh/19662.htm.
Visit the ISDH at www.StateHealth.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.