Press Release

Commonwealth of Kentucky

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Statewide News Release Media Contact: 

Beth Fisher or Barbara Fox,

(502) 564-6786, ext. 3101 or 3102

 Tuberculosis Remains as a Serious Public Health Concern

TB Day Is One of Eight World Health Organization Recognized Observances

FRANKFORT, KY. (March 21, 2017) – As part of its ongoing work to educate the public about tuberculosis (TB) and prevent the spread of the disease, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), a part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is reminding Kentuckians that March 24 is World TB Day.

This year’s theme from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is "Unite to End TB” to emphasize the partnership between various organizations to eliminate TB. To show his support, Governor Matthew Bevin has declared March 2017 as "TB Awareness Month”.

"Many people assume that TB is no longer a concern in this country, but we continue to see cases each year – in Kentucky and around the U.S.,” said DPH Commissioner Hiram C. Polk, Jr., M.D. "While public health has made great strides in preventing the spread of the disease, we are especially concerned with the recent emergence of multi-drug resistant TB. We hope everyone will take the opportunity on World TB Day to learn more about TB, particularly how it is spread and how it can be treated if someone is exposed to or contracts TB.”

The observance was created to commemorate the date in 1882 when Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB. Among infectious diseases caused by a single agent or pathogen, TB remains the second leading cause of death in adults worldwide, second only to HIV-AIDS. World TB Day is one of eight globally recognized public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).

TB is a potentially fatal disease that usually attacks the lungs but can attack any part of the body, for example, the kidneys, spine or brain. The disease is commonly diagnosed in Kentucky, the United States and all over the world.

In fact, the CDC estimates that in 2015, 10.4 million people developed TB and 1.8 million died from the disease. The overall number of TB cases in the United States increased over the previous year in 2015 after having declined yearly during 1993–2014. Despite a slight increase in case count, the TB incidence rate per 100,000 persons has remained relatively stable at approximately 3.0 since 2013.However, the reporting of multidrug resistant TB, which is much more difficult to treat and much more expensive to treat, is a chief concern.

"TB remains a public health burden despite significant progress toward elimination,” said Dr. Polk. "In Kentucky, surveillance data show that 91 TB cases were reported in 2016, but seven multi-drug resistant cases were reported in the last six years. These TB cases in Kentucky further emphasize the need for continued outreach and education.”

TB is a disease that is transmitted person to person through the air when an infectious person coughs, shouts, sneezes, speaks or sings. Symptoms of TB include a cough lasting more than three weeks, fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, coughing up blood, loss of appetite, chest pain, and fatigue. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. People who are at high risk for becoming infected with TB after an exposure include close contacts of a person with TB; people with poor access to healthcare, such as those who are homeless; people who live or work in high-risk congregate settings (i.e., homeless shelters, nursing homes, or prisons); intravenous drug users; healthcare workers; infants, children and adolescents exposed to high-risk adults; and people from foreign countries where TB is common. People with TB infection are not contagious to others unless their infection progresses over time, and they develop active TB disease.


Risk factors for progression of TB infection to active TB include HIV infection, new TB infection in the last two years, diabetes, immunosuppression, and age, especially children younger than four years old. People with active TB are usually infectious and can give the disease to other people.

More information about TB as well as Kentucky’s efforts to track and prevent the spread of the disease can be found at






KY's Tobacco Quit Line --Need Help to Stop Smoking? Use this FREE Effective Resource

The quit line is a free, statewide, telephone-based tobacco cessation resource. The quit line provides information to tobacco users and non-tobacco users on tobacco dependence and its treatment, thedangers of secondhand smoke, and other tobacco-related information. Information may include advice for family and friends on helping a tobacco user quit, and support for a quit attempt.

Are you Ready to Stop Smoking?

Sign up for Freedom From Smoking

The American Lung Association's Freedom from Smoking program gives you options, resources, and support to quit for good!  Freedom from Smoking is the premier smoking cessation program from the American Lung Association.  It helps you develop a plan of action that leads to your quit day.  You will also receive the support you need to remain smokefree for life.

                     What You'll Learn

  • How to know if you're really ready to quit
  • Medications that an increase your success
  • Lifestyle changes to make quitting easier
  • How to prepare for your quit day
  • Coping strategies for managing stress and avoiding weight gain
  • Developing a new self-image
  • How to stay smokefree for good


The Rewards of Becoming a Nonsmoker are GREAT........

After 20 minutes:

  • Blood pressure drops.
  • Pulse rate drops.
  • Temperature of hand and feet increase to normal

After 24 hours:

  • Ability to smell and taste is enhanced.
  • Chance of heart attack decreases.

After 1 year:

  • Risk of heart disease is cut in half.

After 5 years:

  • Risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a person who continues to smoke.

Upcoming Class Dates:

Tuesdays, March 14th-May 2nd
Time: 6pm-7:30pm
Location: Home Health Agency
273 Shoppers Drive
Winchester, KY 40391 

To register contact Carolyn Burtner at (859)744-4482 Ext. 1036 or email her at






Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and the HPV Vaccine

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended routine vaccination for girls 11-12 years of age. The ACIP recommendation also allows for vaccination of girls beginning at nine years old as well as vaccination of girls and women 13-26 years old.

Babies were born to be breastfed!

Infants fed human milk receive multiple health benefits. Breastfeeding also supports multiple nutritional, environmental and economic benefits compared to formula fed infants. Human milk helps infants grow and mature properly, especially in the first year of life when the brain doubles in size. Human milk has over 200 constituents, most not duplicated in formula, and provides immunological protection against a variety of illnesses.

Volunteer for Medical Reserve Corps

Do you want to volunteer and be of service to your community during times of need or disaster? Consider applying to volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps. The Clark County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a part of the Clark County Health Department. MRC volunteers are properly trained to help out during emergencies, disasters, and public health practice initiatives.