Brampton Guardian (02.25.2014)
The Brampton Guardian reported that Peel, a municipality in southern Ontario, Canada, has the highest TB rate in the province. The high rate, more than double that of Ontario, has pushed public health officials to set up several screening sites across the municipality.
TB, an air-borne bacterial infection that can cause fatalities if left untreated, has decreased throughout Canada in recent decades. Peel, however, is home to the largest airport in Canada as well as to people arriving from other countries where TB is still epidemic.
Health officials want to expand the success of a clinic that opened more than three years ago. The clinic has recorded more than 800 patients, although not all have received TB diagnoses. Dr. Kathleen Dooling, associate medical officer for Peel, warned that vigilance is still needed to diagnose people with TB and start treatment as early as possible to stop it from spreading further.
Dooling said that many people may live with latent TB, which is not contagious. Active TB, which is contagious, has symptoms of coughing, weight loss, fatigue, and night sweats. Peel had 266 diagnosed cases of active TB in 2011 and 2012 combined. Those who are diagnosed receive treatment, counseling, and education. They also have several follow-up sessions to ensure successful outcomes.