Lung Association Calls for Increases in Tuberculosis Prevention, Treatment

World TB Day a Reminder to All of Deadly Effects of TB

ALBANY, NY (03/24/2008)(readMedia)-- As we mark World TB Day today, the American Lung Association of New York State urges all New Yorkers to remain vigilant in the fight against tuberculosis. Although tremendous strides have been made in eliminating TB, we must continue to prevent, diagnose and treat TB to deal with a potential resurgence. Older New Yorkers remember when TB was rampant -- and although treatment breakthroughs dramatically curtailed the disease -- TB continues to pose a threat to our public health. In fact, 10 to 15 million Americans are infected with latent TB. Moreover, worldwide there were 9.2 million new cases of TB and 1.7 million deaths (approximately 4,700 per day) from TB in 2006. Of great concern are drug-resistant strains of TB, which are spreading globally, including extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), and raising concerns of a future epidemic of virtually untreatable TB.

That is why Congress must pass the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act. This crucial legislation will expand research on the safety and efficacy of new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines; authorize and expand activities on TB elimination; expand research, including study of the relationship between TB and HIV/AIDS; and authorize funding for the "Blueprint Plan for TB Vaccine Development".

The American Lung Association of New York State continues the fight to protect New Yorkers from TB. Our New York State congressional delegation must move quickly to enact the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act. Further, Governor Paterson and the New York State Legislature must fully fund TB control and prevention programs.

Editor's Note -- The American Lung Association of New York State was founded as a TB fighting organization in a little red cottage built in 1884. The Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium, founded by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, was known as "Little Red." In 1964 the cottage was moved from its original site to the Trudeau Institute, a world class center for basic research in immunology and remains there today. Fifty other cottages and specialized buildings followed "Little Red." Between 1884 and 1954, the community gained world-wide recognition as a treatment, research, and teaching center in the fight against tuberculosis. The one-room "Little Red" was built for $350 and donated by Mrs. William F. Jenks of Philadelphia. Its first occupants, suffering from tuberculosis, were sisters Alice and Mary Hunt, who arrived in May 1885. The building is preserved today as a symbol of Dr. E. L. Trudeau's pioneering contributions to the treatment of tuberculosis.