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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 10, 2016

Greater Efforts Needed to Restart Domestic Decline in Tuberculosis

JAMA. 2016;315(18):1939. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4850

For 2 decades, tuberculosis (TB) rates in the United States were on a small but consistent decline. Since 2013, however, incidence has leveled off and now is stalled at 3 new cases annually per 100 000 population. Experts aren’t sure why progress has halted. But they’ve called for stepped-up efforts to detect and treat latent TB infection at home and abroad, noting that two-thirds of new TB cases in the United States occur in foreign-born residents.

According to the National Tuberculosis Surveillance System, 4 states—California, Florida, New York, and Texas—accounted for half of the 9563 US cases of TB reported in 2015. The incidence of TB among US foreign-born residents—15.1 cases per 100 000 population—is 13 times greater than the rate among people born in the United States. Those who emigrated from Mexico, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, and China have the highest TB rates among foreign-born residents. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaska natives have the highest TB incidence among US-born residents (Salinas JL et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65[11]:273-278).