CDC marks World TB Day 2010

World TB Day is March 24. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis.

"Although preventable and treatable, malaria, tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus together kill more than 5 million people annually," said Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC.

"The burden of these diseases can be reduced -- but only with increased governmental and nongovernmental resources, effective public- private partnerships, and strengthened disease-specific and general health systems."

World TB Day provides an opportunity to communicate TB-related problems and solutions and to support worldwide TB-control efforts.

The 2010 World TB Day campaign is focused on individuals around the world who have found new ways to stop TB and can serve as an inspiration to others.

The idea is to recognize people who have introduced a variety of innovations in a variety of settings: research aimed at developing new diagnostics, drugs or vaccines; operational research, aimed at making TB care more effective and efficient; new approaches to helping people gain access to TB diagnosis and treatment; novel partnerships between actors in the fight against TB; advances in integrating TB care into health systems; new approaches to providing support from members of the community to people affected by TB; and innovative ways of raising awareness about TB.

The Centers for Disease Control and its partners are committed to eliminating TB in the United States. In the United States, the theme for World TB Day 2010 is "TB elimination: Together We Can!"

The CDC and its domestic and international partners, including the National TB Controllers Association, Stop TB USA and the global Stop TB Partnership are taking many steps to prevent further spread of TB and to reduce the overall burden of the disease. Efforts range from developing new treatment regimens and increasing the capacity of health professionals to provide adequate treatment, to issuing new recommendations for improved testing and treatment for U.S. immigrants.

Because many people are not aware of the impact of TB, local coalitions in many states and countries are convening educational and awareness activities related to World TB Day.