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August 23, 1995

Universal Screening for Tuberculosis Infection School's Out!

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex.

JAMA. 1995;274(8):652-653. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530080068043

From 1984 to the present, the United States has experienced a well-publicized resurgence of tuberculosis. While the total number of tuberculosis cases in the United States increased almost 20% from 1985 to 1992, the 1707 cases in children younger than 15 years old in 1992 represented a 35% increase from case numbers in 1985.1 From 1986 to 1993, the tuberculosis rate in foreign-born children was 27.7 cases per 100 000 person-years, which was 13.2 times greater than the rate among children born in the United States.2 Pediatric tuberculosis is geographically focal. In 1989, only 11% of US counties reported a case of childhood tuberculosis, and six states-California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey—reported over 70% of recent cases.

See also page 613.

Unfortunately, very little information is available concerning tuberculosis infection rates. The number of children in the United States infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis is unknown

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