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Florida Is United to End TB

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

March 24, 2016

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March 24, 2016



Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla.—Today the Florida Department of Health joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recognizing World TB Day, which commemorates the discovery of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. This year’s theme is “United to End TB” and eliminating tuberculosis in Florida remains a priority for the department.

“Working closely with clinicians and hospitals, the department is proud of the progress we’ve made thus far as a state to eliminate tuberculosis in Florida,” said Interim State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip. “Our tuberculosis program works to protect Florida’s residents and visitors by identifying cases of active tuberculosis, linking those cases to care and preventing the progression of latent tuberculosis.”

Tuberculosis disease (TB) 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 3 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 42 percent from 1,038 cases in 2006 to 602 in 2015. In the past year, 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 to expand your knowledge about TB, visit the department’s website. For additional information about World TB Day 2016, visit the CDC’s World TB Day page.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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