Health District Spotlights TB Treatment and Control Clinic

The Southern Nevada Health District is calling attention to the global impact of tuberculosis as it commemorates World TB Day on Sunday, March 24. Across the globe, 1.6 million people died of TB and another 10.6 million became ill with the disease in 2021. While global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 74 million lives, the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors have reversed years of progress.

The United States has one of the lowest TB disease case rates in the world, but data indicate the number of TB disease cases nationwide grew 5% in 2022, to 8,300 cases. Nevada has reached a 10-year high in TB disease cases, with a 40% increase in TB disease incidence from 2022 to 2023.

In Clark County, the Health District investigated 76 active cases of TB in 2023, up from 54 in 2022, and reported six TB-associated deaths. The Health District tested 1,656 people for the disease, nearly triple the 584 tested in 2022.

Given the Health District’s recent large-scale TB investigations, World TB Day’s focus on the ongoing epidemic and highlight of the need to detect and treat those with TB is a timely reminder that too many people still unnecessarily suffer from the disease.

TB is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium, which can be spread through the air when infected individuals cough or speak. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the brain, spine or kidney.

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. In fact, most people will develop latent TB infection (LTBI), a condition in which the bacteria lives in the body without making a person sick. However, in other people, especially those with weak immune systems, the bacteria can cause active TB disease, which can be deadly if not identified and treated appropriately.

As the leading provider of TB services in Southern Nevada, the Health District’s Tuberculosis Treatment and Control Clinic offers comprehensive care to ensure that people with active TB disease or LTBI are treated and that those exposed to someone with active TB disease are properly evaluated.

For more information about World TB Day, visit https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/ or World TB Day 2024 Campaign: YES! WE CAN #ENDTB! (who.int).

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.