Heather Krieger, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) program manager, says that is due to our low population density.
Saturday is World TB Day, marking the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis.
Krieger says the state’s TB program is designed to help local health departments and doctors.
“Anytime there’s a case identified, we’re instrumental in supporting that particular area in regards to ensuring that patient has linkage to care and is receiving treatment,” Krieger tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Krieger says Nebraska had 28 reported cases in 2016, which is down from a recent high of 38 two years earlier.
Barb Koester, DHHS TB Program manager, says the disease is preventable and curable.
“If people are identified and treatment is comlete,” she says, “then people can go on and live a very normal life.”
Koester says TB can affect people of all ages and races.
It is spread when someone with an active case coughs, laughs, and/or sneezes and another person inhales that air.
“You cannot get it through casual contact or sharing dishes and utencils or handling food or sharing clothes or towels,” Koester explains.
She says symptoms include coughing, chest pain, fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
An antibiotic is the usual treatment option for TB.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:37]