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California: State's TB Rate Lowest on Record

March 24, 2009

California posted its lowest number of TB cases on record in 2008, but health officials say the state continues to have one of the highest rates in the country.

Last year, California's TB rate dropped to seven cases per 100,000, compared to 7.2 cases per 100,000 in 2007. In raw numbers, the state logged 2,696 TB cases in 2008, a 1 percent decline from 2007.

Foreign-born persons and racial minorities and continue to be disproportionately affected by the disease in California. Asian American residents had a TB case rate of 22.9 per 100,000, followed by blacks (8.7) and Latinos (7.6). The rate was 1.6 per 100,000 for whites and 1.8 for Native Americans.

According to CDC, California's TB rate remains substantially higher than the national rate, which was 4.2 cases per 100,000 people in 2008. In a report released Friday, CDC called for "intensified efforts to address the slowing decline" in TB cases. The declining rate of the disease and its relative rarity in the United States have made it difficult for some doctors to diagnose the infection in patients.

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Excerpted from:
Los Angeles Times
03.22.2009; Rong-Gong Li II

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