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National News

Minnesota Sees Increase in Tuberculosis Cases

March 25, 2002

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Minnesota was among 20 states that saw an increase in TB cases last year, a coalition of more than 80 national public health organizations said. In more than 50 percent of the cases nationwide -- and 81 percent in Minnesota -- the infected persons were born outside the United States.

The National Coalition for Elimination of Tuberculosis issued its report last week in Washington and warned that the numbers could rise unless the nation spends more money on prevention and treatment efforts. Although TB cases fell to an all-time low in the United States in 2001, the decline appears to be leveling off, according to the CDC.

"Tuberculosis anywhere in the world is a cause for concern here," coalition spokesperson Philip Hopewell said. About 2 billion people -- one-third of the world's population - are infected with the TB bacterium. This means that TB in Somalia or Southeast Asia or anywhere can find its way to Minnesota, said state epidemiologist Harry Hull.

In Minnesota last year, 194 of the 239 cases reported affected foreign-born persons. Overall, the number of cases jumped 34 percent from 178 cases in 2000. The 2001 figure is Minnesota's largest since the early 1970s, said Wendy Mills, director of the state's Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Program. TB is "not a risk to the general public at this time," Hull said. "But if we don't deal with it thoroughly and competently, there is a risk it could spread to other folks and pose a great danger."

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Adapted from:
Associated Press
03.22.02

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
Tuberculosis (TB) Fact Sheet
Questions and Answers About Tuberculosis
More on Tuberculosis and HIV in U.S. Midwest States

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