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World TB Day 2017: How to Eliminate the Disease by 2100

MAR 24, 2017 | KRISTI ROSA
Today, March 24, is World TB Day, a day dedicated to promoting awareness on tuberculosis (TB), reflecting on the progress that has already been made, and the steps that still need to be taken to win the fight against the disease.

In light of this day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released preliminary 2016 TB surveillance data highlighting a decline in the number of cases and incidence of the disease. However, despite these declines, their findings suggest that unless actions are taken to accelerate progress in fighting the disease, the goal of eliminating TB in the United States by the end of the century will not be met.

According to the preliminary surveillance data, in 2016, a total of 9287 new cases of tuberculosis within the United States were reported, which is a 2.7% drop compared with 2015. In fact, the CDC’s most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report notes that this case count “represents the lowest number of TB cases recorded since reporting began in 1953.”

Similarly, TB incidence in 2016 also appears to have decreased by 3.4% in case rate per 100,000 people. Despite this decline, the incidence rate of TB infections reported in twelve states was higher than the national incidence. The states in question? Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, and Texas. Out of all the states, Hawaii had the highest TB incidence rate, with 8.3 per 100,000 persons; Wyoming had the lowest incidence rate, with 0.2 cases per 100,000 persons. Unfortunately, overall, “the TB incidence rate remains at levels 29 times higher than the TB-elimination target rate.”

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