Canada needs to develop better ways to identify latent or ‘sleeping’ tuberculosis
About 1/3 of the world’s population has latent or ‘sleeping’ TB (tuberculosis), which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with ‘active’ disease and cannot (yet) transmit the disease. However if their latent TB turns into active TB, it becomes highly contagious and can be fatal.
People with ‘active’ TB disease aren’t allowed into Canada. But there are currently no tests given to people entering Canada to detect TB in its latent, ‘sleeping’ or ‘inactive’ form which could develop into active TB later on.
Dr. Johnston and his research team at the BC Centre for Disease Control are working to determine how best to improve BC’s screening processes for active and inactive or latent TB.
The BC Lung Asociation helps organize North America’s largest TB conference every year. Dr. James Johnston is chair of next week’s TB conference in Vancouver. He is also a TB physician, Evaluation Lead for the BC Centre for Disease Control TB Services Division and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.
TB is the #1 infectious killer in the world. It’s a disease we can diagnose, treat and cure and yet of 10.4 million diagnosed each year, 1.5 million die.