So far this year, initial data shows there have been approximately 500 new TB cases officially diagnosed in the city alone – the highest number of cases recorded in over a decade for this time of year. The figure also represents a 20 percent increase in cases compared to last year, which indicates a potential spread to other parts of the country.
Health officials attribute the increase in TB cases to a combination of factors, including the influx of more than 100,000 migrants from countries where the prevalence of TB cases is high, as well as the ongoing impact of the Wuhan coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
With more people avoiding clinics and treatments, the continuing pandemic fatigue has led people to be less vigilant about following public health measures, including basic essential health and safety guidelines.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which operates as a public health authority and as a provider of healthcare through Health Department clinics, is understaffed and struggling to respond to new cases.
The city Health Department's Bureau of Tuberculosis has grappled with years of budget cuts and widespread vacancies. Exacerbating the situation is the closure of the department's chest center in Washington Heights – one of four city-run clinics that offer no-cost testing and care for TB and the only such location in Manhattan.
The Washington Heights clinic was repurposed to help with COVID-19 response and is being considered for renovations. "Its re-opening depends on the viability of upgrading the facility," said City Health Department spokesperson Patrick Gallahue.
Migrants are at an increased risk of developing TB since the airborne infection can spread quickly, especially in the kinds of congregated settings where the city is housing them. (Related: BIOWEAPONIZED CHILDREN: Tuberculosis-infected illegal alien children deliberately released across 44 states by the Biden regime.)
According to the TB bureau's employees, who wish to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak publicly, the city's preliminary 2023 data has surpassed expectations. They also cited "worrying long waits for treatment at city-run TB clinics."
"This is definitely a more dramatic resurgence than we would have probably expected – with internal figures suggesting the city is on the pace to exceed last year's 536 newly diagnosed TB patients or at a rate of 6.1 cases per 100,000 people," said Elizabeth Lovinger, a health policy director at Treatment Action Group, a public health advocacy group that focuses on TB.
This year's number of cases could be the highest in NYC since 2013 if the current rate continues. "When there are particularly high spikes in TB and other infectious diseases in New York City, that tends to be kind of a bellwether for the rest of the country," Lovinger added.
TB is an air-borne, contagious infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is an infection that occurs when M. tuberculosis attacks your lungs and may spread to other organs and can become lethal in many cases. (Related: Health experts warn untreatable tuberculosis threatens world.)
Know if you are at "at-risk." Do you have a weakened immune system? Do you live with or care for someone with active TB? Do you live in a crowded or confined space? Do you have a history of alcohol or substance abuse? Do you travel to countries or places where active TB/PTB is common?
Lead a healthy lifestyle and practice healthy habits. Eat smart and follow a healthy diet regimen. Exercise often to keep physically and mentally fit. Get plenty of good quality sleep. Cut down on alcohol consumption and avoid smoking or taking drugs unnecessarily. Maintain good personal hygiene. Try to spend as much time soaking in sunshine outdoors and breathe in fresh air. (Related: Sunshine vitamin: A potent defense against deadly new tuberculosis strains.)
Early detection is key. Schedule a TB test if you have been exposed to someone diagnosed with the disease. If you test positive, consult with your doctor about the best and most cost-effective course of action.
Avoid spreading TB. Stay home if you have active TB and refrain from having visitors until you are no longer infectious. Ensure proper ventilation at home. Practice cough etiquette. Finish whatever course of medication your doctor prescribes because failing to do so gives the TB bacteria a chance to mutate – making the bacteria more resistant to medications.
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Watch this video as Robert Kennedy Jr. talks about people not wearing a mask against tuberculosis, which kills 1.5 million people a year.
This video is from The Big Logic channel on Brighteon.com.