TB website launched by Canadians
A searchable website on tuberculosis offers free information about TB in more than 180 countries.
Researchers at McGill University launched the site on Tuesday to help people planning to travel for work abroad and to aid doctors, policymakers and researchers find detailed information on TB vaccination.
In Canada, the overall incidence of tuberculosis has declined. But Nunavut is facing the largest outbreak in the territory's 10-year history.
The BCG World Atlas focuses on Bacille Calmette-Guérin, a vaccine that was introduced in 1921. It continues to be the only one used to prevent TB.
Since TB vaccination practices differ worldwide and strains vary, clinicians need to be aware of those differences and how policies to address them change over time. That's particularly important for foreign-born adults who were vaccinated as children and may not have their immunization records providing an indicator of their current level of protection, the researchers noted
The BCG World Atlas provides information that can help doctors decide what blood tests to order to reliably detect TB, said Alice Zwerling, BCG Atlas project leader and doctoral candidate in epidemiology at McGill.
To help combat TB in Canada, in January federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced $800,000 for a new program in which teams will go door-to-door in Nunavut communities to test people for signs of latent tuberculosis infection.
The project was partially funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Thursday is World TB Day.