Long before the emergence of AIDS, SARS, and a host of other headline-grabbing
infections, there was tuberculosis (TB). While the disease may have largely
receded from the minds of many of those living in developed countries, this
ancient scourge infects fully one third of the world's population and kills
2 million people each year, not including the 20% of HIV-infected individuals
who die with active TB.
But no country is immune, as travel and immigration have brought the
disease to all corners of the globe. Surveillance data show that 14 871
individuals with active TB disease live in the United States, less than half
of whom are native-born (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.
Hampton T. Funding, Advances Invigorate TB Fight. JAMA. 2004;291(21):2529-2530. doi:10.1001/jama.291.21.2529