Tuberculosis Continues to Impact Vulnerable Populations


Tuberculosis continues to impact vulnerable populations, despite adequate treatment already in existence. Dr. Lauzardo, Director of the CDC Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center, explains why.

PNC’s Destiny Cruz has more…

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Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

According to the CDC, two TB-related conditions exist latent TB infection and TB disease, which, if not treated properly, TB disease could be fatal.

Though there is an effective therapy for TB, populations in areas of the world remain susceptible to TB, due partly to health, economic, and social disparities, according to Dr. Michael Lauzardo, Director of the CDC Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center in Florida.

Dr. Lauzardo said, “Usually, TB thrives in the presence of inequities or health disparities, I should say–where there’s a lot of differences about access to care. There’s some degree of sort of innate– or what we like to call susceptibilities that individuals have, but usually, many of the reasons are sort of social and economic.”

Dr. Lauzardo further explained the similarities between places where TB thrives— stating that the spread of TB is frequently driven by individuals migrating from areas with higher TB incidents. He then emphasized the significance of finding ways to provide accessible services to impacted populations to bolster TB treatment and prevention.

Dr. Lauzardo said, “As a CDC-funded TB center that is based in Florida–but we cover the southeast and work a lot with obviously Guam and the other API, so we see the same story throughout both the rest of the mainland and throughout the API— there are pockets that spread to other places, and then the goal here is to eliminate it everywhere—because as we like to say until TB is controlled or eliminated everywhere, it’s not eliminated anywhere.”

Though Guam has incidences of TB, Dr. Lauzardo says that the island has a great leader in the fight against TB, Chima Mbakwem, in addition to a strong TB program.

Destiny Cruz, PNC News First.

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Starting as the weather personality for the Pacific News Center in 2019, then as a reporter, Destiny Cruz is now PNC’s lead anchor, producer, writer, and TV host for two of Sorensen Media Group’s shows. Over three years at PNC, Destiny has covered issues impacting our island in areas including legislation and health, to name a few, in addition to highlighting the meaningful stories of Guam’s community in features and lifestyle. Corresponding with her professional growth, Destiny has acquired personal achievements that have contributed to her development as a dynamic woman: she is a proud graduate of the Guam Community College, earning her degree in liberal studies, a former Miss Guam (Miss World Guam 2017), and singer/songwriter.