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TB Notes Newsletter
No. 4, 2005
We continue to make progress in reducing the incidence of tuberculosis
(TB) in this country, but concerns we have noted in recent years
remain. For 2004, CDC received reports of 14,517 confirmed TB cases
and a rate of 4.9/100,000, making these the lowest number and rate
since the initiation of national reporting. As these trends continue,
we remain concerned that the observed decreases for 2003 and 2004
are the smallest since 1993. In addition, foreign-born patients
now represent 54% of the TB burden in the United States, and racial
and ethnic minority groups continue to have TB rates that greatly
exceed the rates of the nation overall. Please see DTBE’s latest
surveillance report, Reported Tuberculosis in the United
States, 2004, for the latest TB
updates and trends.
We have recently experienced new challenges for the control of
TB and other diseases as a result of the flooding and damage from
hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Many persons were displaced from their
homes, requiring novel efforts to ensure continuity of care and
to prevent relapses. These disasters and our response to them have
disrupted the normal flow of CDC and DTBE activities by causing
many CDC and other staff to be deployed to the Gulf region. It has
been heartening to observe the close network of TB programs come
together with CDC to help state and local health departments identify
and find persons with infectious diseases, including TB disease.
These prompt efforts have ensured treatment continuation and have
prevented disease transmission. DTBE staff members worked with the
National TB Controllers Association to develop guidance documents
for hurricane workers and evacuees, including one on identifying
persons in evacuation centers who may have TB, and another on recommendations
for tuberculin skin testing at evacuation centers. Those documents
have been posted on DTBE’s Internet website, which is http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/tb/.
Staff members have posted a document detailing TB educational resources,
and CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and Response website, http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/katrina/shelters.asp,
also links to the documents. In addition, we have agreed with all
TB Controllers to keep a record of TB patients who have been affected
by the hurricanes and to report to DTBE their knowledge of any hurricane-related
In addition to those patient populations whom we serve, many of
our employees and colleagues have been affected—either directly
or indirectly—by these disasters. We extend our thoughts and prayers
to colleagues who suffered losses and damage to their homes. And
we salute them for their selfless efforts to remain focused on trying
to find displaced TB patients in the aftermath of the evacuations.
This year marks the fifth year of the TB Education and Training
Network (TB ETN); the background and accomplishments of TB ETN are
reviewed in an article in this issue. Also, the members of TB ETN
held their fifth annual conference in Atlanta this past August.
The 2005 conference, entitled Stepping Up Education and Training
to Eliminate TB, was held August 17–19 at the Westin Buckhead
Atlanta and attracted over 100 participants this year. Attendees
benefited from a variety of session topics. The participants’ favorable
comments reflected on the success and hard work of TB ETN members
in planning and carrying out this conference.
The 36th IUATLD World Conference on Lung Health was
held in Paris October 18–22, 2005. DTBE will request conference
participants to submit updates for publication in the next newsletter.
In addition, staff members of DTBE have partnered with other experts
to conduct the Program Managers Course here in Atlanta October 24–28,
2005. We will provide information on the proceedings of this course
in a later issue.
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 - http://www.cdc.gov/tb
Please send comments/suggestions/requests
CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333