MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the leading causes of death among airborne infectious diseases worldwide.
While significant progress has been made in the United States to control the spread of tuberculosis, the disease thrives in populations where hunger and homelessness converge.
The number of confirmed TB cases in Alabama has declined in the decades from 1939 to 2009 as follows: 1939, 2,942; 1949, 2,642; 1959, 2,055; 1969, 1,203; 1979, 644; 1989, 464; 1999, 314; 2009, 168.
"While furthering the decline is good," said Pam Barrett, director of the Division of TB Control for the Alabama Department of Public Health, "we must remain vigilant as more than 70 percent of the counties in Alabama reported at least one case of TB in 2009. Our work is not complete until each and every case of active tuberculosis is found, treated and cured. Your individual and community support for public health has made a difference. Armed with good science, supported by physicians, nurses and outreach workers, we can continue to make a difference."