OKLAHOMA CITY – Every year, approximately 10 million people around the world become sick with TB and 1.5 million lives are claimed by the disease or approximately 4,100 deaths per day worldwide.  

On Friday, March 24, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners around the world, to recognize World TB Day 2023.

TB is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which usually affects the lungs; however, other parts of the body can also be affected.

March 24 marks the day, in 1882, when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes TB. His finding opened the doors to diagnosing and curing the disease.

“TB case counts and incidence rates have continually decreased in the United States since 1953,” said Amy Hill, OSDH’s TB Program Manager. “But we know there are undiagnosed cases, which is why it is important for us to raise awareness and arm Oklahomans with information they need to know about testing and treatment for TB.”

Thanks to tremendous Public Health efforts throughout the US and Oklahoma, in 2021, there were 7,882 TB cases reported in the United States, which is an incidence rate of 2.4 cases per 100,000 persons. In 1953 there were 84,304 cases of tuberculosis or incidence of 52.6 cases per 100,000 persons.

World TB Day is a day to educate Oklahomans and individuals around the world about the impact of TB, to share successes in TB prevention, and control and raise awareness of the challenges that hinder progress towards the elimination of the disease.

To find out more information about TB click here.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at Oklahoma.gov/health