Hawaii: Officials Concerned About Drug-Resistant TB Strain
March 24, 2003
Hawaii's health officials are expressing concerns about the increasing number of drug-resistant TB cases in the state. Dr. Jessie Wing, chief of the Health Department's TB control program, said there were 22 drug-resistant cases in Hawaii last year, compared with 12 the previous year. Wing said 20 of the 22 resistant cases were among foreign-born people. Honolulu had 17 cases; the Big Island, three; and Maui and Kauai each had one. Five deaths were reported last year that were possibly due to TB or an illness related to the disease but they are still being confirmed, Wing said. Hawaii's TB rate has stabilized and dropped to 148 cases last year from 150 in 2001, she said. Hawaii led the nation in the past two years with the highest TB case rate per 100,000 people, and it was second to Alaska in 2000. Last year, Hawaii's case rate was 11.9 cases per 100,000 people, a drop from 23.5 cases per 100,000 in 1992. Hawaii's large immigrant population from poor areas or U.S. territories where screening cannot be required for diseases is a major factor in the high TB rate, said Dr. Alan Rice, University of Hawaii infectious disease consultant.Adapted from:
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.