One patient dies from tuberculosis as St. Lucia launches its 2013 National Tuberculosis Campaign

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One patient dies from tuberculosis as St. Lucia launches its 2013 National Tuberculosis Campaign

Health officials on St. Lucia have confirmed that one person has died from tuberculosis (TB) this year.

The latest victim is an elderly person who was being treated for several health complications including TB.

The last recorded TB-related death in St. Lucia was in 2011.

The Ministry of Health said it continues to strengthen its national tuberculosis programme with the recent launch of the 2013 National Tuberculosis Campaign, given the increase in the number of confirmed and active TB cases.

The ministry said this approach has resulted in improved coverage of the number of persons requiring treatment, success with patients following treatment, and being able to reach more persons who may have been possibly exposed to the infection — key programme activities in reducing the spread of this infection.

As the observance of World TB Day on March 24 draws near, the Ministry of Health continues to encourage persons who are experiencing TB-like symptoms to seek medical care immediately.

Symptoms include a persistent cough with mucous, which lasts more than two weeks; difficulty breathing; unexplained weight loss; and night sweats.

Health officials say TB can be treated and cured, and in Saint Lucia, all TB services within the public health system are free.

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