Shelby County aggressive in treating tuberculosis

Shelby County aggressive in treating tuberculosis

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MEMPHIS (AP) - The state of Tennessee and Shelby County are taking an aggressive approach to diagnosing and fighting tuberculosis.

The Commercial Appeal reports Shelby County leads the state with diagnosed cases of tuberculosis, which once was the leading cause of death in the United States.

The disease is caused by a bacterium that usually attacks the lungs, but can also strike the kidney, spine and brain. The highly-communicable illness can be cured if treated properly, but it can be fatal if not treated.

Officials say there were 49 cases in Shelby County and a total of 156 for the state last year.

The Shelby County Health Department Tuberculosis Control Program has a $1.68 million annual budget, which includes an additional $300,400 received from the Tennessee Department of Health last month.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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