Since 1989, the United States has pursued a goal of eliminating tuberculosis (TB) through a strategy of rapidly identifying and treating cases and evaluating exposed contacts to limit secondary cases resulting from recent TB transmission (1). This strategy has been highly effective in reducing U.S. TB incidence (2), but the pace of decline has significantly slowed in recent years (2.2% average annual decline during 2012-2017 compared with 6.7% during 2007-2012) (3). For this report, provisional 2019 data reported to CDC’s National Tuberculosis Surveillance System were analyzed to determine TB incidence overall and for selected subpopulations and these results were compared with those from previous years. During 2019, a total of 8,920 new cases were provisionally reported in the United States, representing a 1.1% decrease from 2018.* TB incidence decreased to 2.7 cases per 100,000 persons, a 1.6% decrease from 2018. Non-U.S.-born persons had a TB rate 15.5 times greater than the rate among U.S.-born persons. The U.S. TB case count and rate are the lowest ever reported, but the pace of decline remains slow. In recent years, approximately 80% of U.S. TB cases have been attributed to reactivation of latent TB infection (LTBI) acquired years in the past, often outside the United States (2). An expanded TB elimination strategy for this new decade should leverage existing health care resources, including primary care providers, to identify and treat persons with LTBI, without diverting public health resources from the continued need to limit TB transmission within the United States. Partnerships with health care providers, including private providers, are essential for this strategy’s success.
Leave a Reply