Vaccines

Experts: Eliminating TB is possible this generation, but funding is paramount

Illustration of lungs made of coins, with a couple differently colored (copper pennies with silver nickels)
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Global health leaders around the world are sharpening their goals of eliminating tuberculosis within this generation, but at the same time they are facing the threat of the U.S. — the biggest contributor to the fight — cutting back its support.

Why it matters: Today is World Tuberculosis Day. Most cases of tuberculosis (TB) can be treated and cured, yet the disease continues to infect 10 million and kill 1.6 million people a year — more than any other infectious disease. And if the U.S. cuts its funding for international programs, despite having the tools to get rid of it, it's likely to stay the course.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin deliberately exposed his 9 kids to chickenpox

Gov. Matt Bevin. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

During a radio interview on Tuesday, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin admitted to intentionally exposing his 9 children to chickenpox in the hope that they would catch the highly contagious infection and become immune.

Why now: As questions surrounding vaccines abound, Bevin's public remarks trailed reports of a chickenpox outbreak at a Kentucky Catholic school this week, wherein some parents, according to the Washington Post, had not vaccinated their kids. The governor — who is seeking a second term in this year’s statewide election — said Kentucky parents can vaccinate their children, but that the government shouldn't mandate. The state requires kindergarteners be vaccinated for chickenpox, but parents can cite religious exemptions or share evidence that their child already had the disease.

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