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    Baltimore, MD (March 22, 2012) - The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (DHMH) Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration (IDEHA) will observe World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24. This year's theme 'Stop TB in My lifetime” is calling for a world free of TB. DHMH joins the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health agencies in recognizing World TB Day and worldwide efforts to eliminate TB.
    “TB is both an ancient and a modern threat,' said DHMH Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein, M.D. “World TB Day is a day to take stock of what has been accomplished and what more needs to be done.'
    The WHO estimates that approximately one-third of the global population is infected with TB. In 2010, there were approximately 1.5 million TB-related deaths worldwide. This is a preventable and curable disease, especially when diagnosed early. Proper follow-up with your health care provider and completion of treatment is critical to controlling the spread of TB.
    'TB is spread through the air by modes of transmission such as coughing, sneezing, and speaking,' said Heather Hauck, Director of IDEHA. “Individuals who test positive for TB infection should discuss treatment with their health care provider. Treatment of latent TB infection will prevent the development of active TB disease. '
    The Maryland Center for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention provides leadership, policy development and technical assistance to local health departments, health care providers and other partners who contribute to the control and prevention of tuberculosis in Maryland.
    For additional information about TB testing, treatment and support services, contact DHMH's Center for TB Control and Prevention at 410-767-6698 or visit http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov.