Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Hooters case a reminder of TB threat

Some may be surprised to learn that tuberculosis is in our midst after reading that a waitress at the Harborplace Hooters has active TB ("Hooters waitress allegedly contracts tuberculosis at Inner Harbor restaurant," June 7).

Although TB may evoke Edgar Allen Poe and great literary giants who suffered from the disease in the past, there are more people infected now than at any time in history. Globally, especially in parts of Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, TB is growing more complex and difficult to diagnose and treat than ever. In the United States, the disease has been in decline since the 1960s when drugs to treat it became available, but the global epidemic's ability to impact our students, health workers and community members cannot be ignored.

TheU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventionreports that Maryland is among 16 states with TB rates that are higher than the national average. TB is airborne and is transmitted from person to person, especially within households. In our globalized world, TB is easily carried by travelers. There are varying strains of TB circulating globally. Another form gaining ground is multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), which requires a patient to take a 12-18 month regimen of drugs that are expensive and difficult for a patient to tolerate.

Prevention with new vaccines is the only way to truly make TB a thing of history. Two Rockville-based research groups, along with a global network of researchers, are working to develop new TB vaccines, and two are in pivotal large-scale clinical trials today. There is still much work to be done, but we expect that future wide-scale distribution of new TB vaccines in countries hardest hit coupled with domestic use for educators, nurses, members of the military and Peace Corps volunteers could protect our fellow citizens and put an end to future outbreaks in our backyard.

Kari Stoever,Washington, D.C.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Mayor needs a backbone

    Mayor needs a backbone

    Trying to eke out an existence in Baltimore has become a daily, even hourly, struggle for many. Oh, it was arduous enough before the recent spate of homicides occurred. But now it is simply a matter of good, law-abiding citizens of Baltimore being deprived of living in any semblance of peace ("Mother,...

  • Will Rodricks open his house to the poor?

    Will Rodricks open his house to the poor?

    In response to Dan Rodricks' proposal that our legislators support the leftist "Moving to Opportunity" agenda where the poor are moved to better neighborhoods through rent-subsidy vouchers, I have a better idea ("Time for leaders to do right thing for Baltimore's poorest kids," May 23).

  • Baltimore's death spiral

    Baltimore's death spiral

    Baltimore's mayor and state's attorney have taken the first steps to bankrupting this city. In addition to affirming obvious orders to allow space to destroy, the actions of the police make it clear that space was also provided for rioters to take control ("Baltimore needs an independent investigation...

  • Just obey the law and be respectful

    Just obey the law and be respectful

    If you cannot obey the law or teach your children to obey the laws of this country then why do you want the police to come to your aid? You call them your enemy and yet want their help in times of dire emergency. Get a grip on reality. If you want and desire their help, give them yours ("Officers...

  • Hubris of Baltimore 'plagues'

    Hubris of Baltimore 'plagues'

    Who is the Rev. James H. Bryant to invoke plagues on Baltimore? What kind of religious leader would dare to exhibit such hubris ("The 11th affliction," May 29)?

  • Let preschoolers be preschoolers

    Let preschoolers be preschoolers

    In the discussions about high quality pre-K and Common Core standards, it seems to me that we are missing something important ("Ready for Kindergarten?" May 23). We are so focused on preparing young children for the future and using them to fix societal problems that we are not paying attention...