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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 19, 2006

Tuberculosis Control Activities After Hurricane Katrina—New Orleans, Louisiana, 2005

JAMA. 2006;296(3):275-276. doi:10.1001/jama.296.3.275

MMWR. 2006;55:332-335

2 figures omitted

On August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf Coast, 130 Louisiana residents in the greater New Orleans area were known to be undergoing treatment for tuberculosis (TB) disease. Standard treatment and cure of TB requires a multidrug regimen administered under directly observed therapy (DOT) for at least 6 months.1 This report updates previous information2 and summarizes TB cases reported as of December 31, 2005, among persons undergoing TB treatment in the New Orleans area when Hurricane Katrina made landfall and among persons who were evacuated and subsequently received a diagnosis of TB in other parts of the country. By October 13, 2005, through intensive local, state, and national efforts involving both government and private sector partners, all 130 TB patients from the New Orleans area had been located and, if still indicated, had resumed TB treatment. As a result of heightened public health surveillance among Hurricane Katrina evacuees, six other New Orleans evacuees began treatment (i.e., two persons with known TB and four with previously undiagnosed TB) after arriving in other states. The success of these post-disaster TB control measures affirms the utility of alternative data sources during health-related emergencies and the importance of maintaining a strong TB control component in the public health sector.

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