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For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2002

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 diseases.

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 by TB."

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.

Communicable 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.

Dr. David McKeown
Medical Officer of Health
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 2215

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9 Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail



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