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3j.2 How common is tuberculosis?




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This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax lynng@alsirat.com with numerous contributions by others.

3j.2 How common is tuberculosis?

In 1930, mortality was 101.5 per 100,000 population in the US. It
declined steadily, and in 1970 was 18.3 per 100,1000 population
(Historical Statistics). 37.1 thousand cases were reported in 1970,
and the number was down to 25.7 thousand in 1990 (Statistical
Abstracts). Unfortunately, while that number represents a decrease
from 1970, it represents an *increase* from 1985. In 1985, after
decades of decline, TB cases began to rise again in the US, and have
continued to rise ever since. A similar increase has occurred in
several other industrialized countries (TB was never really brought
under control in the Third World). Moreover, new, multi-drug-resistant
strains of TB have emerged. The AIDS epidemic has worsened the TB
situation. (Ryan) The percentage of cases of drug-resistant TB varies
in different areas. A Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article
summarized in the June 15, 1994 HICN726 Medical News gives the
incidence overall in New Jersey as 5% of the state's TB patients, the
incidence in Jersey City as 13%, and the incidence in New York City as
19%.

A joint statement by ACIP and the Advisory Council for the Elimination
of Tuberculosis, published in MMWR, Volume 45, No. RR-4, April 26,
1996 states that the incidence of TB declined through 1984, increased
from 1985 through 1992, and declined slightly in 1993 and 1994. 57% of
the total number of TB cases were reported in five states: California,
New York, Florida, Illinois, and Texas. Overall incidence rates are
twice as high for men as for women.

 

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