State Health department needs more nurses to control TB - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State Health department needs more nurses to control TB

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi has been a model in Tuberculosis control over the years. Keeping active cases below the national level.

Now there are concerns this potential public health threat could make a resurgence in our state.

Tuberculosis also known as TB is a disease of the lungs. Highly communicable, spread  from person to person by coughing, sneezing or even speaking.   

Recently, State Health Department nurses responded to an active case at a Jackson apartment complex...some 20 people were tested for TB. No small task for nurses who track down the infectious disease. 

Dr. Paul Byers, the state Epidemiologist said Friday,  "They have to go out they have to find them they have to interview them. Get them started on medicines in a timely fashion and not only that when you think about one TB cases there is also multiple contacts."

The nurses even monitor the patients for months.. to make sure medication is taken.
Now these "boots on the ground"  caretakers are spread thin according to the State Epidemiologist.

A concern if this health threat went unchecked due to  a lack of TB investigators.
Now the State Health Department  turns to the legislature.

Dr. Byers said Friday,  "We are asking for $1.2 million to help us with our nursing capacity in the field. Those field nurses are our backbone of TB investigation and control." 
We asked, and without that money could TB spread even more rapidly? Byers replied, "That is our concern. The concern is that we may have a  resurgence of TB. We have had a strong TB program in the state health department for years."

 Symptoms of TB disease may include a cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, chest pain, weight loss, and night sweats.

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