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U.S. TB Cases Reach All-Time Low, But Eradication Target Missed, CDC Says

“The number of tuberculosis cases in the United States reached an all-time low last year, with only 11,181 cases reported to public health authorities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the Los Angeles Times’ “Booster Shots” blog reports.

According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the total number of TB cases dropped 3.9 percent from the year before, but the finding “was a disappointment on two counts: the number of cases had dropped by 11.9% in 2009, and authorities had hoped a major decline would continue; and in 1989, health officials had set a goal of eradicating TB in the U.S. by 2010, a roadmark that was clearly not met,” the blog writes (Maugh, 3/24). “TB rates are 11 times higher among people born outside the United States,” Reuters reports (3/24). Slightly more than half of the TB cases among foreign-born individuals occurred in people from four countries: “Mexico (23%), the Philippines (11%), India (8.6%) and Vietnam (7.7%),” “Booster Shots” notes (3/24).

Despite missing the goal of eradicating TB by 2010, “CDC said it remains committed to eradicating TB in the United States and sees the infection as a global threat,” Reuters writes. “Progress in meeting the goal of TB elimination will hinge on improving TB control and prevention activities among disproportionately affected populations,” according to the MMWR report (3/24).

News outlets continued to publish articles and photo features to mark Thursday’s World TB Day:

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