Timing is everything. About 140 cancer patients may have been exposed to tuberculosis by a health-care worker who was diagnosed with an active case of the disease. [“140 cancer patients may have been exposed to TB,” Local News, Aug. 17].
First and foremost, may we all send our healing thoughts and compassion to the person who merely breathed in the TB bacteria at some point in their life. Aside from the long, grueling and antiquated treatment process, TB survivors I have worked with have voiced their concerns about receiving greater psychosocial support to end the global stigma associated with this disease. So let’s support everyone who is impacted by TB so they can be cured, just as we bring optimism to those fighting cancer.
Yet, this situation is happening at the same time that the U.S. Senate is proposing a $5 million cut from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. If Public Health – Seattle and King County needs assistance from the national level, the CDC is exactly where funding would come from. Now is not the time to reduce our support for tuberculosis in the U.S. or abroad.
Teresa Rugg, Snohomish, TB Photovoice director