Hays County Commissioners Court Proclaims World TB Day in Hays County, Raises Awareness of Tuberculosis Locally
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court and the Hays County Local Health Department Tuesday recognized the need to raise awareness about the ongoing international health threat caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (TB), with the Court proclaiming March 24 as World TB Day in Hays County.
“Hays County has a tremendous Health Department looking out for the public’s safety,” County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., said. “Tuberculosis is a major health issue because identification and treatment is a challenge, especially in countries with health systems not as proactive and well-funded as necessary to combat infectious disease.”
“I want to thank our Local Health Department and our residents for their support in championing awareness of this deadly disease,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe said.
“In Texas some one million people are infected with the bacterium, and even if they are currently not contagious, they stand a 10 percent chance of developing the disease if it isn’t treated proactively,” Rebecca Herring, RN, Case Manager for the Hays County Tuberculosis Program, said. “In 2013, 1,222 persons in Texas were diagnosed with TB, and 76 Texans died from this contagious disease. While Hays County typically has fewer than 10 cases diagnosed each year, surrounding counties with a higher number of infected persons can cause contagion since TB is spread through the air.
“Pulmonary TB is highly contagious and treatment for infected individuals is critical to end the cycle of transmission,” Herring said. “There is also a multi-drug-resistant TB which is extremely difficult to treat, and there are verified cases of it in Texas.”
While symptoms of TB can vary, some of the symptoms can include:
- A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- Pain in the chest
- Coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
- Weakness or fatigue
- Weight loss
- No appetite
Anyone who thinks he or she has been exposed to TB or has symptoms should contact his or her primary care physician or the Hays County Local Health Department TB Office, 512-393-5569.
Below: Left to right, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Hays County Local Health Department Clinic Manager Margie Rodriguez, ImmTrac Specialist Elsira Deleon, Eligibility Specialist Sylvia Rodriguez and TVFC Coordinator Amelia Flores, Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant help bring awareness to ongoing, local tuberculosis infection issues.