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 ( ) 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.


Information from: The Commercial Appeal,

©2016 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.