Word On The Curb…New York City officials say they are struggling to contain rising tuberculosis cases as they fear a resurgence decades after the nation got TB under control, due to the overwhelming number of migrants entering the city.
New York City officials have confirmed that there are currently 500 active tuberculosis cases, which is a 20 percent increase from the same time last year, according to POLITICO. City officials are concerned, but experts are not surprised,given the widespread disinvestment in efforts to control and eliminate the infectious disease since cases last peaked in the early 1990s. Now officials are grappling with the challenge of controlling the spread.
Because of budget cuts and widespread vacancies, there is limited capacity to manage the spread. Health officials have repeatedly warned that tuberculosis cases could spike.
Tuberculosis has been rare in the U.S. since it initially peaked during the AIDS epidemic, but health officials say New York City is now facing a potential resurgence.
Health officials say that the disease, which is caused by bacteria and spread through the air, has been exacerbated by the influx of over 100,000 migrants entering New York since Spring 2022. According to POLITICO, health officials say that migrants are at a heightened risk of developing an active tuberculosis infection. This is because the disease can spread quickly in the types of congregate settings where the city is housing them.
Three employees from the city Department of Health’s Bureau of Tuberculosis Control, who wished to remain anonymous, informed POLITICO that there are significant delays in receiving treatment at the Tuberculosis clinics operated by the city. The employees express concern that things could worsen as the winter season approaches.
Health officials also say COVID-19 is the cause of tuberculosis cases because it hindered testing and treatment.
The city has been silent about the increase in cases.
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