January 30, 2024

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Local doctor says tuberculosis cases in Western New York is not a cause for concern

2 min read

ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) — There has been confirmed case of tuberculosis in a Syracuse University student. But Paul Levy who is the Medical Director at the tuberculosis clinic in Rochester and a Pulmonologist at URMC says he doesn’t see this as a cause for concern. In fact, he says we get a few cases of Tb in our area every year.

According to Dr. Paul Levy Pulmonologist, we have not had a large volume of cases, he says even nationally the number of TB cases has been on a gradual decline.

“Nationally we might have around 95 hundred, 10 thousand cases per year across the entire U.S. In Monroe County we might have around 20 cases per year in our population of around a million people in Monroe County,” says Dr. Levy.

Levy says the disease can be cured as long as the patient has consistent access to the proper medications throughout their treatment.

Although you may rarely hear about it, he says TB testing has never stopped. Instead, it has just become more targeted towards those who are at a higher risk.

“The testing is much more targeted around vulnerable populations, people who are underserved or with less access to healthcare, sometimes are at high risk, “he said.

He says it can be spread from the respiratory system and the particles that fly out from a cough. There are common signs you can look out for.

“The symptoms of tuberculosis are often cough, feeling under the weather, just fatigue, and it can last over weeks and months on occasion, “he said.

He said typically when someone is detected with Tb health professionals try to find out who that person has been in close contact with in recent weeks and months to track exposure and prevent secondary case from happening.

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