The United States has tuberculosis rates for 2012 and the preceding 20 consecutive years to celebrate on World TB Day , held each year on March 24, the anniversary of the announcement byDr. Robert Koch that he had discovered the organism responsible for the disease.
Latest Trends in Tuberculosis in the United States
The good news is that in 2012, the incidence rate for newly diagnosed cases of tuberculosis decreased by 6.1 percent over the 2011 incidence rate, with 2012 becoming the 20th consecutive year for declines in new tuberculosis cases. Reported data showed that in 2012, 3.2 cases per 100,000 people were newly diagnosed with the contagious illness.
The less-than-good news is that the total number of these cases in the United States still numbered nearly 10,000 people.
Forty percent of the 3,143 counties in the nation have not reported a single new case of TB in the last three reporting years. Not every state was able to enjoy participation in the declining rate of TB -- 33 states and the District of Columbia had lower rates, 17 states had higher rates. Four states -- California, Florida, New York and Texas -- combined to report 4,967 of the new TB cases, representing 49.9 percent of the total new cases.
Reports of new TB cases were statistically lowest in West Virginia in 2012 with an incidence rate of 0.4 compared with Alaska where the incidence rate was 9.0. The median incidence rate among the states was 2.3.
Tuberculosis Information Specific to Various Groups of People
Both U.S.-born and foreign-born persons were part of the decline in newly reported TB cases. Nearly 55 percent of all foreign-born persons with known country of origin who were diagnosed with tuberculosis came from five countries: Mexico, the Philippines, India, Vietnam and China.
Asians experienced the highest incidence rate of new diagnoses of tuberculosis among all known racial and ethnic groups, a rate 25 times higher than that of whites. The TB rate among U.S.-born blacks was 5.8 times greater than that of U.S.-born whites; a rate the CDC explained represents the highest single disparity among racial/ethnic groups of U.S.-born persons.
The HIV status for newly diagnosed cases of TB was known in more than 80 percent of the cases, with 7.7 percent of the known-HIV-status cases being HIV-positive.
In the TB cases with known housing status of those 15 years of age or older, 5.6 percent reported as being homeless. Excessive alcohol use was identified in 12.1 percent of cases reported in this age group and 4.2 percent were detained in a correctional facility at the time of TB diagnosis.
To What is the Success of 20 Years of Declining TB Rates Attributed?
The CDC reported that there was a surge in tuberculosis rates in the late 1980s and 1990s.NPRreported that those were the years of the growing AIDS epidemic in America, a disease that left those with it more susceptible to tuberculosis at a time when services for TB had deteriorated.
Since then, the CDC and local health departments increased funding for TB services and improved the availability of such services.
The theme of this year's World TB Day is "Stop TB in My Lifetime" -- a worthy goal, it would
After service in the British SAS Regiment the author became a physician and then an orthopaedic surgeon.
He has held professorial positions in Canada, Vietnam and the United States, practiced and taught orthopaedic surgery in three continents and in several wars.
He has extensive experience as an expert witness in court. Somewhere along the way, time was found to operate a four hundred acre mixed farm, a one hundred seat restaurant and to obtain a licence as a flying instructor.
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