CDC: U.S. Tuberculosis Cases Down Again
March 22, 2002
Tuberculosis cases fell to an all-time low in the United States last year, but the decline appears to be leveling off. On Thursday, the CDC reported that 15,991 cases of the disease were recorded in 2001, a 2 percent decline from 2000. It was the ninth consecutive year US cases dropped. The number of cases fell 7 percent from 1999 to 2000.
"We're continuing to make progress, but our progress is slowing," said Lorna Thorpe, a CDC epidemiologist. "When we don't pay attention to TB is when it resurges." TB cases jumped in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the disease developed resistance to some drugs and as the HIV epidemic took hold. The CDC credits a renewed push to treat and prevent the disease with the steady decline. TB, which is spread through prolonged contact in close quarters, is easily cured but can be fatal if left untreated. TB kills 2 million people worldwide each year.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.