Tuberculosis is one of the things that helped to make Colorado a destination, as the dry elevation helped the symptoms. The Centennial State is seeing a surge in cases of the deadly infectious disease.

No, it's not pleasant to talk about such things with the world still recovering and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is good to be aware. No one is saying Colorado will be opening new TB sanitariums, but the numbers are rising.

Tuberculosis in Colorado
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One of Val Kilmer's greatest movie roles was that of Doc Holliday in 1993's "Tombstone." Holliday was known to suffer from Tuberculosis, and Kilmer's performance was spot on. Holliday ended up moving to Colorado to ease his suffering from the disease.

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When you mention Tuberculosis, many think back to the "old" days, but TB is still around and does exist in Colorado.

The number of cases was on a steady 10-year decline in the state, but there has been a substantial increase in cases from 2022 to 2023.

TUBERCULOSIS CASES RISE GREATLY OVER ONE YEAR IN COLORADO

According to UC Health, the amount of TB cases in Colorado rose nearly 60%, between 2022 and 2023.

  • CDPHE reports that in 2022, Colorado had 57 cases of TB.
  • CDPHE reports that by December of 2023, there were 80 cases; two deaths.

WHY DO THEY THINK TB IS ON THE RISE IN COLORADO?

  • Patients may not know they have it, since a persistent cough is common with other illnesses.
  • With the COVID-19 pandemic, many were reluctant to see a doctor. Now people are seeing them.

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WHAT HAPPENS WITHOUT TREATMENT OF TB?

According to UC Health, the disease will destroy the lungs, as well as cause the loss of appetite due to chemicals the TB produces; the patient, "wastes away."

KEY SYMPTOMS OF TUBERCULOSIS

From UC Health:

  • Persistent Cough.
  • Low-Grade Fever.
  • Unintended Weight-Loss.
  • Coughing Up Blood.
  • Night Sweats.

A lot of people who have TB don't think they have it; they can become the dreaded "super-spreader" of the highly infectious disease.

UC Health has more on the situation.

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Have you ever wondered what causes the most deaths in the Centennial State? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals the 10 leading causes of death in Colorado in the photo gallery below.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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