Local Health Officials Prepare For Possible TB Spread
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A dangerous, drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis is making its rounds, world-wide.
Health officials in Nashville and across the state say there's no doubt, they are keeping a close watch on the spread of tuberculosis. A study out this week found an alarming number of cases of TB that are resistant to up to four different kinds of powerful antibiotics.
Researchers said that not only increases fatality rates it also makes the disease about 200 times more expensive to treat. Here in Tennessee, the last case of confirmed drug-resistant TB was back in 2010 which officials said is a good sign. But still, they're not taking any chances.
"Is it going to be a more common issue? I think it is. Here in Tennessee I think we're in an excellent position to detect it if it ever occurs here, but we have to remain quite vigilant, "said John Warkentin of the Tennessee Department of Health.
Being vigilant, for public health, means work closely with local hospital, emergency room physicians, and private providers to make sure they know how to recognize tuberculosis right away, and then make sure their patients complete the proper treatment.