World Tuberculosis Day

I’m beginning a new volunteer gig soon at a hospital, and one of the things I needed to do before my first day was go get a TB test. The test has changed since I was a kid—it used to be four tiny needles, or maybe it was six, with a quick injection. Now it’s a small skin pop of serum, with one needle, just under the skin of the forearm. 48 hours later you have the injection site inspected for reaction. It’s quite simple and no big deal—as long as you’re negative.

The world is making incredible progress against this airborne disease, yet last year, 1.8 million people died of tuberculosis. It is the second biggest infectious killer of adults, worldwide.

Today, on World TB Day, consider donating to the Stop TB Partnership or Doctors Without Borders or another medical charity working to eradicate this disease. It is a matter of life, and we should have been further along by now.

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