PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
March 24, 2023

Judith M. Persichilli

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

New Jersey Department of Health Recognizes World Tuberculosis Day March 24

TRENTON – With about one-quarter of the world’s population infected with tuberculosis, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) joins in commemorating World Tuberculosis (TB) Day to focus continued efforts on disease education, control and prevention.

“Significant progress has been made in the fight against the disease over the past three decades, with the public health response largely shifting to preventing TB among individuals at risk for developing disease,” said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “In New Jersey, more than 3,000 people are tested, medically evaluated, and/or receive preventive treatment for TB annually. We remain committed to the ongoing efforts and preventive measures to ultimately eliminate TB.”

Tuberculosis, a preventable and curable disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, spreads through the air from person to person and typically affects the lungs but can also affect the brain, kidneys or the spine. People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing TB, including babies and children, as well as people who have medical conditions such as HIV or diabetes.

This year’s theme is “Yes! We Can End TB!”, a message of hope to encourage action and collaboration in combatting the TB epidemic. In 2021, about 10.6 million people worldwide became sick with TB, with about 1.6 million TB-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Global efforts to end TB have helped save about 66 million lives since the year 2000, according to WHO.

In New Jersey, 288 new cases of TB were reported last year, which represents a 71 percent decrease in new cases since 1992. During that year, a resurgence of TB nationwide saw 984 cases in New Jersey.

NJDOH provides financial assistance, direct assistance (such as supplies and laboratory services), and technical assistance (such as education and training) to support TB prevention and control activities performed by local health departments throughout the state. 

Last year, the Department granted $3.8 million in state and federal funding to local health department TB programs. This included $2.9 million awarded to the six regional TB specialty clinics located in Bergen, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex and Morris counties, which provide services to all residents. The regional TB clinic system performs clinical evaluation, treatment, prevention and epidemiology in concert with the county and municipal health departments.

In addition, the Global Tuberculosis Institute at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offers state-of-the-art treatment, conducts research, and provides consultation, education, and training to physicians and health officials. 

March 24 marks the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch shared his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes TB.

For more information, visit NJDOH’s Frequently Asked Questions page and the state’s Tuberculosis Control Program page: nj.gov/health/hivstdtb/tb/faq.shtml; https://www.nj.gov/health/hivstdtb/tb/

To learn more about World TB Day, visit the World Health Organization’s World TB Day 2023 page: who.int/campaigns/world-tb-day/2023

CDC also shares information about World TB Day and TB resources: cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/default.htm.

Last Reviewed: 3/27/2023