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The Florida Department of Health in St Lucie County is United to End TB

By Arlease Hall

March 24, 2017

ST. LUCE COUNTY - Today the Florida Department of Health in St Lucie County (DOH-STLucie) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recognizing World TB Day, which commemorates the discovery of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB). This year’s theme is “United to End TB” and eliminating tuberculosis in Florida remains a priority for the department.

“Our TB program staff work diligently in our community towards reducing TB disease and infection rates. We assure that all active cases of TB are treated and persons identified as a contact to an active TB case are tested and treated if found to be infected,” said Clint Sperber, Health Officer, for the Department of Health in St. Lucie County.

Tuberculosis is one of the world’s deadliest diseases and it is caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis that usually attacks the lungs, but can attack any part of the body, including the kidney, spine and brain. Latent TB can live within the body without making you sick. People with latent TB do not have symptoms, are not infectious and cannot make others sick.

TB is spread through the air and symptoms of the disease include:

  • A bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer;
  • Pain in the chest;
  • Coughing up blood or sputum; and
  • Weakness or fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, chills, fever and sweating at night.

Through its statewide TB program and its support of the Florida System of Tuberculosis Care, the department is making significant strides towards its goal to eliminate TB in the state. Cases of TB in Florida have gone down by 35 percent from 988 cases in 2007 to 639 in 2016. St Lucie County has had an average of 8 reported cases over the past 3 years.

The department has implemented improved testing and treatment technologies, making it easier for clients to successfully complete therapy.

To explore resources relating to TB and learn more, visit the department’s . For additional information about World TB Day 2017, visit the CDC’sWorld TB Day page.