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This is an archived document. The links are no longer being updated.

TB Notes 3, 2000

Dear Colleague:

For those of us in Atlanta, the year that has just passed can be characterized as having been a time of flux. We have had much to be thankful for, such as seeing the number and rate of new TB cases decline to the lowest ever recorded in this country, and receiving the endorsement of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of our goal of eliminating TB in the United States. And recently many of our coworkers here in the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention moved onto the same campus that we occupy, consolidating the Center into one location and enabling us to collaborate with them more easily. At the same time, we have lost many friends and coworkers in DTBE this year, several to other career opportunities, some to retirement, and one, sadly, to death (Diana Mazzella). However, we are in the process of addressing these losses and rebuilding our staff. As we settle into new space after being in the same building for the past 7 years, we are excited about our new challenges, new people, and new ideas.

The Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis (ACET) met on October 18 and 19 at Corporate Square in Atlanta. Dr. Charles Nolan gave an update on the progress being made in the development of a report on TB prevention, control, and elimination efforts in low-incidence areas. He also brought up the issue of the need to work with Immigration and Naturalization Service officials in border areas to prevent illegal aliens with infectious TB from being deported. Olga Joglar and Dr. Amy Curtis gave the group an update on the outbreak response plan that the division has drafted. The planning committee for this initiative developed a comprehensive document that lays out primary and secondary goals of the outbreak response plan as well as recommended procedures. I provided a brief update on U.S.-Mexico border issues; please note that DTBE will have a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article on this subject in early 2001. Dr. Eugene McCray reported on current activities of the LIFE (Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic) initiative, whose CDC component is part of the new Global AIDS Program. We have unusually high expectations for the success of that program in light of the DTBE staff who have joined it; these include Dr. McCray, Dr. Bess Miller, and Rose Pray. Dr. David Cohn of the Denver Public Health program and Dr. Rick O’Brien of our Research and Evaluation Branch, co-chairs of the ATS/CDC statement committee on latent TB infection (LTBI), reported on CDC/ATS progress in disseminating the LTBI statement. Additional updates were provided by John Miles of NCHSTP/STDP on TB in correctional facilities, Fran DuMelle of the American Lung Association on legislative options for implementing the IOM report, and Dr. Jose Becerra and Kathryn Koski of DTBE’s Computer and Statistics Branch on the Tuberculosis Information Management System (TIMS). Kathryn reported that the TIMS import utility is ready for beta testing. On the following day, Dr. Anne Fanning of the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (IUATLD) gave us a report on that organization’s function, purpose, and activities. Dr. Jack Crawford of the NCID Division of AIDS, STD, and TB Laboratory Research gave a report on current DNA fingerprinting issues. We then heard from Dr. Amy Curtis again with an update on the activities and progress of the committee that has taken on the task of reviewing and recommending changes to the 1994 guidelines for preventing the transmission of TB in health care facilities.

In other news from DTBE, several staff members attended a Partners in Health meeting that was convened November 6-7 in Atlanta. The meeting was held to discuss the details of implementing a multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB elimination plan for Peru, to be funded by a Gates Foundation grant. CDC will be a collaborator. In addition, John Seggerson planned and coordinated a meeting of the TB Task Force that was held on December 6-7 in Bethesda, Maryland, to plan and discuss the responses of various federal agencies to the IOM report.

This fall, DTBE staff attended several meetings, including the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) in September as well as the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in October. Our staff had a number of well-received posters and oral presentations at these conferences and used those opportunities to share research findings with colleagues in other agencies and organizations.

We are proud to announce that the comprehensive "Self Study Modules on TB" project, developed by DTBE’s Communications and Education Branch, was the recipient of CDC's "Distinguished Health Education Program Award." The award was given for the entire array of training products and formats encompassed by the modules, including the print-based training modules, the satellite training courses, and the Web-based training modules.

I hope that your holiday season was safe and enjoyable and left you energized for the challenges of the new year!

Kenneth G. Castro, MD


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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