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Oklahoma State Department of Health Urges Awareness on World Tuberculosis Day

A common belief is that modern medical science has destroyed tuberculosis (TB); however, TB remains an epidemic in much of the world. As part of World Tuberculosis Day on Thursday, March 24, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) wants to remind Oklahomans that the disease is still a presence in our state and around the world.

Although not broadly advertised, Oklahoma continues to battle TB on a daily basis. The threat of exposure to TB is present and ongoing. People are still contracting the disease and dying of TB in Oklahoma. In 2015, eight Oklahomans died from TB.  

Tuberculosis is not a cheap disease to combat. For the most common strain (mycobacterium tuberculosis), it will cost the state approximately $17,000 to treat one person. The cost could skyrocket to around $135,000 per person if the individual is diagnosed with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR TB). There is also another super-tough strain of tuberculosis known as extreme-drug resistant TB (XDRTB) and it can cost approximately $482,000 per person to treat. Combatting tuberculosis across the United States cost $435,000,000 in 2014.

Left untreated, the outcome of TB diagnosis is dire. Symptoms of the disease include coughing up blood, persistent fever, night sweats, weight loss and fatigue. Tuberculosis does not discriminate as anyone can get this potentially deadly disease. The disease spreads from person to person through the air.

To learn more about Tuberculosis, please visit the pages dedicated to the disease at http://go.usa.gov/c73JG.

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