Three Things You Need To Know About Tuberculosis | KERA News

Three Things You Need To Know About Tuberculosis

Mar 24, 2014

Filmmaker Jezza Neumann and his crew interviewed Tuberculosis patients during 15 minute intervals at Swaziland hospitals, where the disease is common and feared enough to carry a stigma like HIV. Neumann reports back on Think at noon with host Krys Boyd, ahead of TB Silent Killer's airing on KERA TV tomorrow at 9 p.m.

Hear the full conversation on the Think page. 

In the U.S., TB is widely assumed to be an antiquated, irrelevant concern. It's not.

Here's why:

It’s the second-leading cause of death from an infectious disease on the planet.

A study out today estimates 1 million children fall ill with TB each year. 

In South Africa, TB was the cause of 1 in 11 deaths in 2011. 

Though U.S. cases have steadily declined since a resurgence peak in the early '90s, people still die from the disease in this country. There were 569 reported deaths from the disease in 2010 according to the CDC.

TB cases and deaths are tied to high levels of poverty.

This is not reserved to remote parts of the world where poor people live. In 2010, Gary Woo of the Dallas County Health Department told KERA's BJ Austin that Dallas County has 50 percent more cases than the national average. In 2012, the county was second only to Harris in the number of cases in Texas. 

Our state is also vulnerable to the disease since it's a border state. A report out last week shows physicians picked up more than 1,100 cases in prospective immigrants and refugees prior to their arrival in the U.S.   

The social perception of TB is a major problem in other parts of the world.

On the occasion of World TB Day, an editorialist in Nepal reminded readers people still hide their condition from health officials because they're ashamed. 

Listen to Think at noon and 9 p.m. on KERA 90.1 or stream online.