California Tuberculosis Rate Drops To Lowest Level on Record
The number of tuberculosis cases reported in California last year was the lowest on record, but the rate still is significantly higher than the rest of the country, according to statistics from the California Department of Health, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The state reported 2,696 tuberculosis cases in 2008, down from 2,725 cases in 2007 (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/20).
Still, the state's 2008 tuberculosis rate of seven cases per 100,000 people is significantly higher than the national 2008 tuberculosis rate of 4.2 cases per 100,000 people, according to CDC (Lin, Los Angeles Times, 3/22).
California was one of four states in the country that recorded more than 500 cases in 2008 (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/20).
Racial Minorities and Foreign Born Immigrants
Tuberculosis disproportionately affects racial minorities and foreign-born immigrants in California, the Times reports.
According to state statistics, there were:
- 22.9 cases of tuberculosis for every 100,000 Asian-Americans;
- 8.7 cases for every 100,000 blacks;
- 7.6 cases for every 100,000 Hispanics;
- 1.8 cases for every 100,000 Native Americans; and
- 1.6 cases for every 100,000 whites (Los Angeles Times, 3/22).
Further, about 83% of the state's 451 cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases identified between 1993 and 2007 involved immigrants born abroad.
Gil Chavez, deputy director of the California Department of Health, said, "California, having so much exposure to the world via immigration and travel, is particularly at risk" (Barbassa, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 3/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.