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Recognizing a deadly disease

Tuberculosis Day

Durham’s health department is raising awareness for World Tuberculosis Day. The disease killed 1.5 million in 2013.

The region’s health department recognized World Tuberculosis Day on Tuesday, March 24 in “an effort to promote awareness about exposure to TB and individuals who are at risk of contracting this infectious disease,” according to a news release.

In 2013, 9 million people contracted the disease worldwide, with 1.5 million dying from it.

“TB is not easy to catch,” staes Byron Fox, a public health nurse with the health department, in a news release. “It usually takes several hours of close contact with a person who has active TB to become infected.”

Tuberculosis is transmitted by breathing in the bacteria from a person who is already sick, typically after they cough, sneeze or speak.

“The good news is that Canada has one of the lowest rates of TB in the world and this disease is preventable, treatable and curable,” Fox states.

Last year, there were 11 investigated cases of active tuberculosis in Durham Region, along with a further 257 cases of latent infections.