Tuberculosis rate decline continues in Virginia

Posted at 1:28 PM, Mar 22, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – As World Tuberculosis Day approaches, the number of people infected with the disease continues to drop in Virginia.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, the tuberculosis (TB) rate decreased 17.5 percent between 2010 and 2011. That means there were 47 fewer cases of TB reported in the state.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Karen Remley said the steady decline shows the success of state and local health departments, as well as health care providers’ efforts to control the disease.

“World TB Day offers an opportunity to recognize this progress while striving for even better results,” said Remley in a news release.

However, the disease is still an epidemic in much of the developing world and several million people die each year from the disease.

“There are still more than 8 million cases per year globally, which underscores the need for continued vigilance by the public and health care community,” said Remley.

Officials said that increased international travel and immigration influences the movement of TB from place to place. This means it is important for health care providers to be aware of possible signs and symptoms of TB.

The Virginia Department of Health said that not everyone infected with TB becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist. [Click here to find out more info about TB from the Virginia Department of Health]

World Tuberculosis Day is March 24, 2012.  It marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced he had found the cause of tuberculosis.