This week there were two pieces of news that should have acted as wake-up calls for Americans who are complacent about the state of public health around the world.
We seem to believe that everyone takes the general control of communicable diseases as seriously as we do, or that some diseases are “old timey.”
Well, they don’t and they aren’t.
First news this week told us that “Indian doctors have reported the country’s first cases of ‘totally drug-resistant tuberculosis,’ a long-feared and virtually untreatable form of the killer lung disease,” according to an Associated Press report.
Just as we had tried to convince ourselves that smallpox was a thing of the past, so we thought that TB wards were something you heard about in old movies.
That is not the case.
Not even in America.
Not even in Kansas.
The second piece of news: “Officials at Wichita State University say a student has tested positive for tuberculosis, an infectious disease that usually attacks the lungs. University officials released little information about the student Monday, but they say the person has been quarantined,” according to the AP report.
It’s easy for us to become complacent, when we are used to getting quick relief for everything from the common cold to the heartbreak of ... whatever the complaint is ... but the reality is that there are still some very dangerous diseases in the world and they can find their way to our doorstep, so easily.
From India to Wichita State University, to Barton County. It just doesn’t take that long in this day and age.
And that is why public health efforts are so important.
— Chuck Smith