Urgent Action Needed to Avert TB Crisis
Join the American Lung Association as we mark World TB Day. Initially founded to combat tuberculosis (TB) more than a century ago, the American Lung Association today is urging Congress to act decisively to finally eliminate TB in America.
The Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, S. 1551/HR 1532, now pending in the Congress, would propel the U.S. Public Health Service’s efforts and lead international work to eradicate the infection globally. It is imperative that our nation prepare for a potential outbreak because extensively drug-resistant (XDR-TB), which is difficult to treat, has been identified in the U.S.
The Comprehensive TB Elimination Act will provide the US Public Health Service with the resources needed to eliminate TB in the US and play a leading role in eradicating the disease globally.
TAKE ACTION: Encourage the Congress and the President to Pass the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act
March 24th marks World TB Day. While sometimes considered a disease of the past, tuberculosis continues to pose a threat to public health. I am writing you today to urge you to cosponsor the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, (S. 1551/HR 1532), sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Representative Gene Green (D-TX) and to make its passage a priority.
In the U.S., many people think TB is a disease of the past; however, 10 to 15 million Americans are infected with latent TB. Drug-resistant strains of TB are spreading globally, including extensively drug-resistant (XDR-TB), and raising concerns of a future epidemic of virtually untreatable TB. The strain has been identified in the U.S., which is why it is imperative we prepare for an outbreak.
Tuberculosis is an airborne infection caused by a bacterium. It primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. TB is spread through coughs, sneezes and close proximity to someone with active tuberculosis.
People with active tuberculosis are most likely to spread it to others they spend a lot of time with, such as family members or coworkers. New tools are needed to more effectively prevent, diagnose, and treat TB. The standard method of diagnosing TB is over 100 years old and fails to adequately detect TB in children and those co-infected with HIV/AIDS. The newest class of anti-TB drugs is over 40 years old.
The U.S. stands on the brink of being able to eliminate TB in the U.S. and the first step in reaching this goal is enactment of the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, S. 1551/HR 1532. The bill will provide increased funding for the CDC's National Program for the Elimination of Tuberculosis. It will expand research on TB diagnostic and treatment tools at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and CDC, and authorize the "Blueprint Plan for TB Vaccine Development" at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Congress should move quickly to ensure the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act becomes law.
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