State TB Cases Fall to Lowest Rate in Recent History
Public health officials on Thursday said the state had 2,781 new state tuberculosis cases in 2006 -- the lowest level since record keeping began in 1985, despite 20 counties reporting slight increases, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Los Angeles County, which has a third of all tuberculosis cases in the state, experienced a decrease in the number of new cases in 2006. Merced, San Joaquin, San Diego and Tulare counties, however, all reported increases. Santa Clara County reported the steepest increase, from 199 cases in 2005 to 228 cases in 2006.
State and county health officials could not attribute the "modest" but "worrisome" increases to a particular cause, although they said population growth, immigration and normal variations in disease transmission all contributed, the Times reports.
Foreign-born residents make up about 75% of all tuberculosis cases in the state (Chong, Los Angeles Times, 3/23).