SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Nelson Mandela, Ringo Starr, Tina Turner, Tom Jones, and Desmond Tutu – all celebrities, all highly productive, and all had and were cured of tuberculosis. About one-third of the world’s population has tuberculosis (TB) bacteria, and most are not famous—but they could live fully productive lives cured of TB.
Special events. This year the Snohomish Health District will host an engaging exhibition of stories from 28 ordinary people in Snohomish and King counties who have experience with TB. The TB Voices display will be up from March 17-28 at the Health District’s Rucker Building, 3020 Rucker Ave., Everett, Wash. From 1-2:30 p.m. March 21, you are welcome to meet and mingle with some of the TB Voices storytellers at a casual reception. Health District TB program staff will be available to answer questions and explain TB investigation and treatment. These events are free and open to the public.
Snohomish Health District is the local public health agency that diagnoses, interviews, treats, and follows up all active TB patients and their contacts living in Snohomish County.
Snohomish Health District sees 20 to 27 new active TB clients every year.
KSER 90.7 FM also will air a TB program March 27 at 8:30 a.m., featuring Patricia Yepassis-Zembrou, TB program manager at the Health District, and TB Voices organizer Teresa Rugg.
“The TB Voices participants highlight the need to support people who have TB, and to fight the stigma and social isolation they deal with every day,” said Rugg. “Today’s treatment is a far cry from the old sanitarium days.”
In 2013 the Health District
· treated and continued treatment of 44 cases of active TB
· treated and continued treatment for 80 TB-infected people who have not developed the disease
· evaluated 88 individuals suspected of having TB
· screened 123 people who were contacts of people with active disease
“Our TB patients are fortunate to have one of the best TB teams in the nation right here in Snohomish County,” said Yepassis-Zembrou. The team screens and treats patients and handles complex contact investigations to prevent the spread of TB. They earned the Washington State Department of Health Excellence Award in 2013. “With our community partners we endeavor to find TB, treat TB, and eliminate TB.”
For more information about local TB services, visit www.snohd.org or call 425.339.5225. Incorporated in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats.