NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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Dover, Ohio (WJER) - Tuscarawas County Health Department leaders say they are helping raise awareness about a deadly disease. 

Health Commissioner Katie Seward says World Tuberculosis, or TB, Day is on March 24th to help educate communities about the importance of testing and early diagnosis, which Seward says can be the difference between life and death. Seward says they will be practicing what they preach the day after World TB Day, March 25th, with free TB testing at the health department in Dover from 4 to 6pm. 

“It’s relatively painless. We just stick a small amount of serum right underneath the skin on the forearm, and then that’s all there is to it,” she says. “The only thing that we do note is you have to come back in about 48 hours to have that read by a professional.”

Seward says even with fewer cases reported these days, prevention is key as the one reported case in Tuscarawas County last year proved to be fatal.

“Certainly, it’s not like what we used to have to deal with in the 1940s and 50s but it is still around in the community and really everyone is susceptible to it because there is no good vaccine out there that prevents against it,” he says. 

Seward says no appointment is necessary for the free testing at the health department. She says those tests will be available to the public while supplies last.

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