Left to right, Hays County Local Health Department Director Tammy Crumley, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, County Judge Ruben Becerra, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Local Health Department Epidemiologists Eric Schneider and Ian Harris, Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell and Precinct 4 Commissioner Walt Smith. Hays County photo
County calls for awareness about TB
The Hays County Commissioners Court proclaimed March 24 as World TB Day in Hays County and reminded residents that TB (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis) remains a health threat locally and throughout the rest of the world.
According to the proclamation, in 2017 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 1,127 Texans were diagnosed with TB, and of the 70 cases in the 30-county region that includes Hays County, two cases were in the county. Of the 127 multi-drug-resistant cases of TB reported in the United States, eight of those were in Texas.
Pulmonary TB is extremely contagious, and diagnosis and a strict treatment regimen is necessary to keep the disease from spreading. More than one million Texans are infected with the bacterium, and health authorities estimate 10 percent of them will eventually develop active cases of TB.
“Even though TB is primarily a disease that plagues impoverished and underdeveloped countries, here in Hays County we have had three active cases of TB in the past two years and there are many residents who have received treatment because they were exposed to TB,” Hays County Local Health Department Epidemiologist Eric Schneider told the court. “At our Health Department citizens can receive free TB treatment and lab monitoring. We can also provide discounted-cost chest X-Rays should a patient need one. Anyone with questions about TB can call our office and ask to speak with the TB elimination program at 512-393-5569. By working together and being vigilant we can eliminate TB.”
Commissioners Court members thanked the Local Health Department’s TB treatment team members for their diligent work in helping to educate the public and treat infected individuals. Visit the Local Health Department for more information about TB and available services.