DOH News Release: Hawai‘i Department of Health Raises Awareness on World Tuberculosis Day

Posted on Mar 24, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – Today, in observance of World Tuberculosis Day, the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) Tuberculosis Control Branch reminds Hawai‘i residents that resources are available to test, diagnose, and treat this disease.

“Although tuberculosis is curable, 1.5 million people worldwide die from this disease every year with little sign of abatement,” said Dr. Genevieve S. Ley, Chief of the Tuberculosis Control Branch. “The Department of Health has resources available to help individuals and clinicians diagnose and treat tuberculosis.”

Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable respiratory infection. In 2021, Hawai‘i had 106 cases of active TB. DOH estimates 70,000 to 100,000 residents could have latent TB infection (the asymptomatic non-infectious form of TB), that could turn into active TB disease, the contagious form of TB.

Dr. Ley said the cure rate for TB in Hawai‘i is over 90 percent, with early detection and treatment, and is urging all Hawai‘i residents who are at risk to get tested for TB infection. TB testing is available at 17 locations statewide through DOH. Click here to learn more.

Symptoms of TB include a prolonged cough, weight loss, fever, sweating at night, and feeling weak or tired. Anyone with a history of a positive TB skin test or blood test, should ask their doctor if preventive medication would be helpful.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Tuberculosis Control Program’s mission is to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis in the state by providing effective prevention, detection, treatment, and educational services. Examinations and treatment are available free of charge.

For more information on tuberculosis or the program’s services and activities, call (808) 832-5731 or visit health.hawaii.gov/tb.

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Media Contact:

Katie Arita-Chang

Communications Office

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 286-4806