Each year, the Larimer County Department of Health & Environment recognizes World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24. Clinicians, health care agencies, and community organizations have a critical role in TB elimination. World TB Day is a time to recognize achievements in TB prevention and control and renew our commitment to ending a dangerous disease in Larimer County and throughout the world. This year, the county’s TB Program recognizes the healthcare providers and staff of Family Medicine Center (FMC) and Poudre Valley Prenatal (PVP) as “Leaders for a TB-Free United States” for their dedication in the ongoing effort to end TB.

Many of those at high risk for TB infection or TB disease are identified by healthcare providers, such as those at FMC and PVP. Larimer County’s TB Program works with healthcare providers to coordinate screening, diagnosis, and treatment of TB infection and disease. These essential partnerships are key to stopping the spread of TB in our community.

The FMC/PVP team consists of dedicated physicians and medical residents as well as compassionate staff. FMC and PVP have embraced the importance of both identifying those at highest risk for TB and also facilitating treatment for patients with tuberculosis infection before it can progress to active, contagious TB.  Not only have faculty and resident physicians supported TB elimination through their collaboration, Margie Bennett, LCSW at FMC, has worked tirelessly with the Health Department’s TB Program to implement strategies to make sure each patient knows their TB infection status.

Up to 13 million people in the United States are estimated to have tuberculosis infection, and TB still exists here in Larimer County. Since 2005, 30 individuals with tuberculosis disease have been diagnosed and treated in Larimer County. Of the 30 diagnosed TB patients in Larimer County over the past 15 years, 83% were born outside of the United States countries with a high-to-moderate risk of TB. Their risk of developing active TB is further increased if they also have diabetes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (CDC/DTBE) joins international partners to recognize March 24 as World TB Day. World TB Day is an annual event which commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause TB.  The Health Department’s TB Program looks forward to an ongoing partnership with FMC and PVP in the elimination of TB disease in our community.

For more information on TB in Larimer County, visit http://www.larimer.org/tb.

Published on: 
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 2:20pm

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