“Because our community is so small, to have this many people testing positive or dying of tuberculosis is alarming,” said Frances Ford, a registered nurse and health care coordinator for Perry County, which includes Marion, Alabama.
TB is far from gone, Leah Samuel recently wrote in an article in the Boston Globe. The small town of Marion, Alabama has tested thousands of people for TB since mid-January and identified 27 patients with active TB, 100 with latent TB, and 3 have died.
I think it’s important to explore the historical origins of the community’s distrust. It’s well beyond the USPHS Syphilis Study in Tuskegee or poor quality health care for African-Americans.
The fear and stigma around TB goes to the roots of slavery and violence in the rural United States.
Why would people in Marion trust public health officials, when they have always been discriminated against by the government?
Black lives matter– except when they don’t.
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