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Quotes from CDC Experts on New TB Studies

Below are quotes for attribution to Dr. Jonathan Mermin and Dr. Philip LoBue to assist with your coverage of CDC’s new data for TB in the United States.

Dr. Jonathan Mermin, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (on the importance of TB prevention)

“We have made substantial progress toward TB elimination in this country, but TB remains a formidable opponent with thousands of cases still diagnosed each year. TB can be fatal and treatment remains long and difficult. This ancient bacterium has demonstrated its ability to evade our attacks many times before.”

“TB can happen anywhere, in any community. Exposures can happen at school, at work, at home, while traveling, or anywhere that people are in close contact with one another. This is why TB prevention is a public health priority for the nation.”

“Too many falsely believe TB is a disease of the past, but to truly relegate this disease to the pages of our history books, we must identify better ways to detect and treat TB and we must stop the emergence of further drug resistance.”

Dr. Philip LoBue, Acting Director, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (on the severe human and economic costs of drug-resistant TB)

“This study demonstrates the severe human and economic costs of treating drug-resistant TB. Even though we can typically cure these cases through complex care, this success comes at a price—for those who suffer and for the millions of dollars it costs the U.S. healthcare system.”

“The extremely high toll on the quality of life for patients is no less tragic. Many of those being treated for drug-resistant TB must endure severe side effects such as hearing loss, depression, or even psychosis. Patients also face home or hospital isolation.”

“In a shrinking world where diseases know no boundaries, the severe global TB epidemic poses a direct threat to the United States. The worldwide emergence of extensively drug-resistant TB is creating limited treatment options and in a worse-case scenario could lead to virtually untreatable TB strains.”



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