Nevada epidemiologist: Deaths of young mother, baby have put tuberculosis back on radar

The winning battle against tuberculosis in the United States may, ironically, be part of the reason why the disease wasn’t detected in a young Las Vegas mother and her baby until it was too late, experts said.

A leading cause of death in the early 20th century, the airborne illness most associated with a bad cough has declined in the U.S. to the lowest levels since record-keeping began 60 years ago. Tuberculosis claimed 569 lives in the U.S. in 2010, meaning fewer and fewer doctors have experience treating or recognizing it, especially in otherwise healthy young patients.

“This idea that young people don’t get it is wrong,” said Dr. Ihsan Azzam, Nevada’s state epidemiologist. “It’s now on the radar again. We thought this was eliminated in our country, but there’s now a resurgence of the disease.” More.

About The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson

Ordained to the priesthood in December, 2010.
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