TORONTO, March 24, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, March 24, has been proclaimed World TB Day in the City of Toronto. Toronto Public Health, community partners and the Stop TB Partnership are working together to raise awareness of tuberculosis (TB) to reduce the incidence of the disease and the stigma associated with it.
TB usually affects the lungs, but can affect any part of the body. It is spread from person to person through the air when someone sick with TB in their lungs coughs or sneezes. It is not highly contagious and not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. Close, prolonged or regular contact with someone who is sick is needed to spread the disease. It is curable and most people with TB can be treated as outpatients and do not need to be hospitalized.
Signs and symptoms of TB include a cough (lasting longer than three weeks), fever/chills/night sweats, feeling tired, unexplained weight loss/loss of appetite and, depending on where the disease is, swollen lymph nodes or joint pain. The treatment is a course of four special antibiotics taken for six months or more.
The global theme of this year's World TB Day "It's Time!" is a call to action for increased research, funding, human rights and accountability across all sectors. The CN Tower and the Toronto sign will both be lit red in recognition of the day. Canada is a signatory of the 2018 UN Political Declaration to end TB by 2030.
Toronto Public Health staff provide support to patients and families affected by TB and work with health professionals, community partners and newcomer agencies to reduce the incidence and impact of TB in Toronto. More information about tuberculosis is available on the Toronto Public Health website at https://www.toronto.ca/health/tb
"Many people think TB is a disease of the past, but it impacts nearly 300 residents each year. An ongoing challenge for those facing a diagnosis is the related social stigma. World TB Day is a great opportunity to remind people of the potential harmful impact that these attitudes can have and that TB is preventable, curable and treatment in Ontario is free for everyone."
- Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health.
"Toronto must continually strive to be a place where we challenge the notion that a person can be easily defined by their health status or circumstances. People in our city who are directly affected by TB must be treated with respect and dignity while they receive the care and support that will help them as they recover from this curable disease."
- Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/cityoftoronto, on Instagram at instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at facebook.com/cityofto.
SOURCE City of Toronto
For further information: Media contact: Keisha Mair, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-8020, [email protected]