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Many people think tuberculosis (TB) is a disease cured long ago, but that’s not actually true. Around the world, TB never went away and given our increasingly global community, it remains a public health threat in the U.S. It’s estimated that here in the U.S. alone, 10 to 15 million Americans are infected with this disease and each year, close to 9 million new cases of TB occur with approximately 1.5 million deaths worldwide. There are also forms of TB that are drug resistant, or even worse—multi-drug resistant. This means that some of the drugs used to treat the infection cannot fight the TB germs in the body.
Very little has been done in the last 50 years to update the way TB is diagnosed and treated. The same test that was used to diagnose TB 100 years ago is still in use today. The drugs currently used to treat TB are from the 1960s and require patients to take them consistently for 6 to 9 months. This is overly burdensome for patients and caregivers and many patients fail to correctly take the drugs each day—which has led to the emergence of drug resistant and multi-drug resistant TB.
A World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in some areas of the world, from 1 in 3 to 5 cases are a form of the disease that can no longer be treated with standard drug regimens.
We need Congress to step up and fully fund efforts to get this disease under control.
With adequate funding, scientists and public health officials can:
Please contact your representatives in Washington today to urge them to fully fund the critical TB programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as at the U.S. Agency for International Development so we can put TB behind us for good.
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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