World TB Day Observed at Texas Center for Infectious Disease

News Release
News Release
March 24, 2023

Texas Center for Infectious Disease commemorates World Tuberculosis Day today with a conference featuring presentations from staff and partners plus tours of the TCID campus in San Antonio.

World TB Day marks the day in 1882 when the bacteria that causes tuberculosis was discovered. The illness continues to impact populations around the world and in Texas. While TB cases in 2020 and 2021 stayed just below 1,000 in the state, provisional data show cases increased here to 1,088 in 2022.

“Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that has occurred in humans since ancient times and still kills many people around the world every year,” said DSHS Commissioner Jennifer Shuford, MD, MPH “The good news is that TB can be cured. Texas has a strong public health system to help ensure people with TB get the treatment they need to go on to lead long and healthy lives.”

TCID is a Department of State Health Services facility treating TB patients from Texas as well as complex cases from across the country. As a 75-bed acute care hospital, TCID provides medical treatment for TB patients while supporting their mental health and social needs. Staff are also exploring new ways to prevent and treat infectious disease, including Hansen’s disease.

“TCID is proud to host public health officials from across the state and our local community leaders in observance of World TB Day,” said John Lopez, TCID Hospital Administrator/Superintendent. “TCID is a unique facility that uses a multi-disciplinary approach to treating the most complex cases of TB in Texas. Our clinical and support staff work in unison to deliver healthcare that works towards healing the mind, body, and soul of our patients.”

While the lungs are most commonly affected by TB, the illness can also adversely affect the brain, kidneys and spine. Today, most TB cases can be cured with modern antibiotics, but TB can still be fatal if not treated. Those experiencing active TB disease may exhibit coughing, fever, chills, night sweats, fatigue and weight loss. When a person with active TB disease coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings, TB bacteria can be put into the air, threatening infection to those nearby.

TB infection describes patients who are not sick but have TB in their bodies. They are without symptoms because the germs are inactive. And while the germs can’t be spread to others during this stage, these patients can later develop active TB disease if they remain untreated.

Joining TCID today at the World TB Day conference are colleagues from Heartland TB Center and San Antonio Metropolitan Health District’s Tuberculosis Clinic.