Georgia's TB Cases Fell by Nine Percent, Still Above National Average
March 4, 2003
Tuberculosis continues to decline in Georgia, but the state still has the second highest number of cases in the South and seventh-highest number of cases in the nation, state health officials said Monday. In 2002, Georgia reached a low of 524 cases, a decline of about 9 percent from 575 cases in 2001, the Georgia Division of Public Health reported. "This is good news," said Chuck White, CEO of the American Lung Association of Georgia. "It means our program's working. But we want to continue a downward trend."Adapted from:
In the Atlanta area, Fulton County had 119 cases of TB, DeKalb County had 88, Cobb County had 33, and Gwinnett had 29. Fulton and Cobb counties had fewer TB cases in 2002, but DeKalb, Gwinnett and Clayton saw slight increases from 2001. Health officials said they had not completed analyzing county data outside metropolitan Atlanta.
Dr. Kathleen Toomey, DPH division director, attributed the overall decline to aggressive efforts by health officials and advocacy groups. But more can be done, she said, since Georgia still has higher TB rates than the national average. "The South has the highest rates of TB in the nation," Toomey said. "Georgia is second to Florida in the number of cases reported."
Nearly a quarter of the state's cases come from Fulton County alone. Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta treats high numbers of indigent TB patients, spending $1.5 million for those patients in 2001. "If Grady were a state, Grady could be among the top reporting [states] in the country," Toomey said.
03.03.03; Daniel Yee
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.