March 22, 2011

 World TB Day – March 24, 2011

Nassau County TB Rates below the National Average


Uniondale, NY - In recognition of World Tuberculosis Day, March 24th, the Nassau County Department of Health has announced that the number of confirmed tuberculosis (TB) cases in Nassau County continues to be well below the national average of 3.8 cases per 100,000 people.  In 2010, there were 43 confirmed cases of tuberculosis in Nassau County or a rate of 2.9 cases per 100,000 people.

World TB Day, an annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. This was a first step towards diagnosing and curing tuberculosis.

Nassau County Department of Health’s Bureau of Tuberculosis Control oversees the public health effort of appropriately treating tuberculosis patients and provides guidance and education for Nassau’s health care providers. One component of this program is Directly Observed Therapy (DOT). In DOT, trained Department of Health staff meets with a person who has tuberculosis to help him or her remember to take the medicines to treat tuberculosis – this ensures compliance and is an importance measure in preventing drug resistant tuberculosis.

“Nassau County Department of Health takes great steps in protecting public health through the prevention and control the of tuberculosis,” said Nassau County Health Commissioner Maria Torroella Carney, M.D., F.A.C.P. “World TB Day raises awareness about the epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease.”

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease usually affecting the lungs (pulmonary TB).  Among infectious diseases, tuberculosis remains a leading killer of adults in the world, with an estimated 2 million tuberculosis-related deaths worldwide each year.  Tuberculosis is spread through the air when a person with untreated pulmonary tuberculosis coughs or sneezes. Prolonged exposure to a person with untreated tuberculosis usually is necessary for infection to occur.  The most important way to stop the spread of tuberculosis is for tuberculosis patients to cover the mouth and nose when coughing, and to take all the tuberculosis medicine exactly as prescribed by the physician.

Active Tuberculosis Cases in Nassau County:

2010 – 43

2009 – 38

2008 – 43

2007 – 44

2006 – 52

2005 – 53

2004 – 57

2003 – 56

2002 – 65

2001 – 94

2000 – 70

For additional information about TB, visit the New York State Department of Health web site at

or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at