March 23, 2014 at 8:43 PM CDT - Updated July 20 at 9:10 PM
March 24 marks World Tuberculosis Day. It's time when health officials locally and around the world want you to know the disease is still a factor not only in developing nations, but also here at home.
This years World TB Day slogan: Reach 3 million of those 9 million people who will get sick this year around the world this year.
The big push on this day is to raise awareness about the fight that continues against the disease.
It's usually thought of as a problem in developing nations but it’s something we still see across southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky as well as Tennessee.
Public health departments urge people to contact them to get tested. Many employers, such as hospitals require a test.
Heartland News learned many people carry the latent form locally that carries no symptoms so they may not have any idea they have it.
At the Cape Girardeau Public Health Center, nurses tell me they’ve seen that latent form become active, and cause a problem.
What happens? It then becomes contagious. TB is a bacterial disease that usually attacks the lungs but can also cause problems in the kidney or spin and other parts of the body.
It spreads through the air and usually those with active cases are most likely to spread the disease to people they spend time with every day like friends, family, and coworkers or schoolmates.
To learn more about the number of active cases or screenings in your county and across Missouri, click on the links below. Health officials say the number of latent cases reported in each county is usually much higher. You can also see numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, and learn more about symptoms, and prevention.