New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
March 22, 2024

Kaitlan Baston, MD, MSc, DFASAM

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

New Jersey Department of Health Joins in Recognizing March 24 as World Tuberculosis Day

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) will commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24. World TB Day promotes raises awareness on disease education, control, and prevention to combat TB, which remains a disease of major public health importance, affecting more than a quarter of the world’s population.

This year’s theme is “Yes! We Can End TB!” 

“Although there has been significant progress made in the fight against the disease, ongoing effort and commitment are required to ultimately eliminate tuberculosis,” said Health Commissioner Kaitlan Baston, MD. “New Jersey continues to work to increase awareness of this preventable and treatable disease, and to provide support for TB prevention and control activities throughout the state.”

Tuberculosis, which is curable, is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It can be spread 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 young children, as well as people who have medical conditions such as HIV or diabetes.

Worldwide, TB is the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). An estimated 10.6 million people globally became infected with TB in 2022, with about 1.3 million TB-related deaths, according to WHO. 

In New Jersey, our public health measures ensure that death from TB is rare. New Jersey reported 330 new cases of TB in 2023, which represents a 66.5 percent decrease in new cases since 1992. New Jersey saw 984 cases during a resurgence of TB nationwide during that year.

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. 

NJDOH granted $3.9 million in state and federal funding to local health department TB programs in 2023. 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 Tuberculosis: Frequently Asked Questions and the state’s Tuberculosis Control Program.

To learn more about World TB Day, visit the World Health Organization’s World TB Day 2024 page.

The CDC also shares information about World TB Day.

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