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CDC: Tuberculosis Decline in the United States Has Hit a Plateau

Agency reaffirms its commitment to eliminating the lung infection

THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Two decades of progress toward eliminating tuberculosis (TB) in the United States has stalled, with incidence of the disease holding steady from 2013 to 2015, according to a report published in the March 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in conjunction with World TB Day.

Overall, TB incidence leveled off at about three new cases per 100,000 people each year between 2013 and 2015, according to preliminary data from the CDC. But differences were reported between people born in the United States and foreign-born residents. For instance, new annual cases of TB declined slightly among U.S. residents who were born elsewhere — falling from 15.6 to 15.1 per 100,000. However, new TB cases among U.S.-born residents remained at 1.2 per 100,000 people annually.

More than half of the nation’s TB cases occur in four states — California, Florida, New York, and Texas, according to the report. Each state reported more than 500 cases of TB in 2015, as they did for the previous seven years.

“CDC is committed to eliminating TB in the United States,” write the authors of the report. “These efforts will not only focus on strengthening existing systems for interrupting TB transmission, but also on increasing testing and treatment of persons with latent TB infection.”

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