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World TB Day 2020

March 24, 2020

Each year, we recognize World TB Day on March 24. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of  Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).

World TB Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of TB around the world.  CDC, along with our partners and colleagues around the world share successes in TB prevention and control and raise awareness of the challenges that hinder our progress toward the elimination of this devastating disease.

The theme of World TB Day 2020 is “It’s TIME” CDC and its domestic and international partners, including the National TB Controllers AssociationStop TB USA, and the global Stop TB Partnership are working together to eliminate this deadly disease. But we need your help.

It’s time to test and treat latent TB infection.

Up to 13 million people in the United States have latent TB infection, and without treatment, they are at risk for developing TB disease in the future. We must continue to find and treat cases of active TB disease and also test and treat latent TB infection to prevent progression to disease

It’s time we strengthen TB education and awareness among health care providers.

Treatment of latent TB infection is essential to controlling and eliminating TB in the United States. Our public health system and private providers play a crucial role in this effort.

It’s time to speak up.

CDC’s TB Personal Stories series highlights the experiences of people diagnosed with latent TB infection and TB disease. CDC is committed to raising awareness and increasing efforts to test and treat persons with latent TB infection to prevent TB disease.

It’s time to end stigma.

Stigma associated with TB disease may also place certain populations at higher risk. Stigma may keep people from seeking medical care or follow-up care for TB. But anyone can get TB. People with TB can be found in every state; where we work, where we live, where we learn, and where we spend time with family and friends.



New research highlights CDC’s leadership in strengthening TB surveillance, guidelines, and laboratory systems worldwide.

  • A recent CDC analysis published in the Bio Med Central Medical journalexternal icon evaluated the impact of interventions on early antiretroviral therapy (ART) mortality. Results show the interventions, aimed at strengthening intensified case finding, combined with active tracing to support patient retention were associated with increased TB case finding and lower early ART mortality.
  • In a recent study published in The Lancetexternal icon, the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) Study Group found TB to be among the top ten causes of pneumonia among hospitalized children under five years of age without HIV infection. This study, completed in African and Asian countries, continues to inform efforts to develop stronger diagnostics and treatment for children with TB as well as efforts to develop an effective vaccine.
  • In a recent study published in Emerging Infectious Diseasesexternal icon journal, researchers  conducted a meta-analysis for treatment outcomes among children with  bacteriologically confirmed extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) from 1999-2013.  These fourteen studies included detail of only 37 cases of XDR-TB over a 15-year period, underscoring the lack of data regarding the diagnosis and treatment of children with this most severe form of TB. However, more than 80% of the 37 children included in this study had favorable treatment outcomes with mortality rates significantly lower than adults with XDR-TB, which shows promise for successfully treating XDR-TB in children. Further evaluation of effective and safe regimens for children with XDR-TB is needed, along with better data collection for children with drug-resistant TB.
  • In a recent study published in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseaseexternal icon, researchers aimed to assess current status of Tuberculosis preventive treatment (TPT) implementation in countries supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  TPT was included in national guidelines in 33 (94%) PEPFAR countries, but only 21 (60%) reported nationwide programmatic TPT implementation. Study authors highlight improved leadership and coordination between HIV and TB programs as factors required for successful TPT scale up.
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