Tuberculosis Focus of New Health Report in Peel
(Brampton) - Tuberculosis, a disease that kills more people worldwide each year
than AIDS or malaria, is the focus of the new Communicable
Disease 2002 report released today by Peel Health. The new report provides
a local perspective on tuberculosis (TB) and a wide range of other communicable
The report reveals that while rates of TB in Peel have remained stable and
low since the mid- 1980s, the number of cases almost doubled between 1982 and
2001. This increase is largely due to population growth.
"Human movement around the world has become more and more common,"
said Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. "While
Canada has long been a tuberculosis success story, we must remember tuberculosis
respects no borders. Awareness, early diagnosis and treatment, and prevention
are the keys to keeping this disease under control."
Incidence of TB in Peel is higher than in Ontario and Canada. In 2001, Peel
was second only to the City of Toronto in the number of TB cases in Ontario.
TB is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs but can infect
other body parts as well. It is spread through prolonged, close personal contact
and can lie dormant in the body for years.
"Tuberculosis is preventable, treatable and curable," continued McKeown.
"Peel Health's comprehensive TB prevention program delivers confidential
services to TB patients, healthcare providers and the communities most affected
Peel Health works to prevent TB through the Directly Observed Therapy (DOT)
program; education and policy support for physicians, health care professionals,
health care institutions, shelters and long term care facilities; and outreach
into communities most affected by TB.
Disease 2002 also includes information on select communicable diseases,
including sexually-transmitted, bloodborne and vaccine-preventable diseases,
and diseases spread by either close personal contact or food and water. More
detailed information can be obtained by calling Health Line Peel at 905-799-7700
or visiting www.region.peel.on.ca.