California TB Rate Drops, But Some Counties See Jump in Reported Cases
Tuberculosis rates increased in 22 California counties in 2007, although the state and Los Angeles County saw an overall decline in their number of cases, according to new data from the California Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles Daily News reports (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 3/13).
Overall, California's total number of cases declined by 1.9% between 2006 and 2007.
Tourism and immigration could account for some counties' higher TB rates in 2007, according to public health officials (Swift, San Jose Mercury News, 3/14).
About 76% of TB cases statewide occurred in people born outside of the U.S., according to the data (Dahlberg, Sacramento Bee, 3/14).
The rise in some of the counties was attributed to funding cuts for services that provide screening, treatment and follow-up. The state has allocated more than $9.5 million for TB prevention efforts for the fiscal 2007-08 year, a 14% decrease from past years.
Health experts also caution that the public remains at risk if funding continues to be cut (Los Angeles Daily News, 3/13).