Shelby County aggressive in treating tuberculosis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The state of Tennessee and Shelby County are taking an aggressive approach to diagnosing and fighting tuberculosis.

The Commercial Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/QeuCuW ) that Shelby County leads the state with diagnosed cases of tuberculosis, which once was the leading cause of death in the United States.

The disease is caused by a bacterium that usually attacks the lungs, but can also strike the kidney, spine and brain. The highly-communicable illness can be cured if treated properly, but it can be fatal if not treated.

Officials say there were 49 cases in Shelby County and a total of 156 for the state last year.

The Shelby County Health Department Tuberculosis Control Program has a $1.68 million annual budget, which includes an additional $300,400 received from the Tennessee Department of Health last month.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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