Seattle Times (10.25.12)
Officials with Seattle and King County Public Health Department report that efforts to successfully treat TB cases have brought rates in King County to a 30-year low. In spite of those efforts, the county still has one of the highest rates of TB in the country, and one out of every six cases in the last year was resistant to at least one TB medication. In addition, King County saw its first case of extensively drug-resistant TB.
The Public Health Department’s most recent annual TB report notes that in the past year King County had a rate of 5.5 cases per 100,000 people, which is considerably higher than the 3.0 per 100,000 rate of the rest of Washington State or the 3.4 per 100,000 individuals, which is the US average. The county has an estimated 100,000 individuals with latent TB, which could potentially become active. Health officials noted that a 10-year federal grant will assist the county in discovering and treating latent TB cases.