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Tuberculosis cases in U.S. dropped sharply, reach all-time low in 2009, CDC says

The incidence of tuberculosis infections in the United States dropped by an unusual and unexpectedly large 11.4% in 2009, the largest one-year decrease since federal agencies began tracking the disease in 1953, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The largest previous drop was 11.1% in 1956. Since 2000, the rate has declined by an average of 3.8% annually, so the large decrease last year seemingly came out of the blue.

In 2009, a total of 4,499 TB cases were reported in U.S.-born people, with the rest in immigrants. The rate in native Americans was 1.7 cases per 100,000 people, a 15.8% decrease from the previous year and a 77% decrease since 1993. The rate in foreign-born people was 11 times higher than that in native Americans. Ethnic minorities also suffered more heavily. The rates in blacks and Hispanics were about eight times higher than in whites, while the rate in Asians was 26% higher. A total of 107 cases of multidrug-resistant TB were reported in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available. Such cases are resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, the two drugs most commonly used to treat TB. No cases of extensively drug-resistant TB, the most dangerous form of the disease because it is extremely difficult to treat, were reported in 2009.
 
 

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