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Tuberculosis Prevalence in the US


John D'Angelo, MD, senior vice president, executive director Emergency Medicine Services at Northwell Health, discusses the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in the United States.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Most people that are now newly diagnosed with TB, which is much less common to be newly diagnosed nowadays, but we still have immigrant populations and other ways that people can get exposed, just go on multiple drugs at this point; usually it’s a three-drug regimen at minimal, for a 6-month period of time or longer.

I think [that] overall, the TB rate, at least in our country, is dramatically reduced from years ago, [due to] active screening, the precautions that are taken when we cough, [as well as other] precautions that occur in the hospital, and [the fact that] all of our employees get a [purified protein derivative] PPD test annually. I think it’s difficult to treat when it’s found, but it’s not as devastating as it was in the past when it was rampant and you had disseminated TB and things of that nature; we just don’t see it in the emergency department that often.”
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