Aids Weekly Plus
Health officials in New York City report that the city’s TB rate has dropped to a low of 8 cases per 100,000. According to Dr. Thomas Farley, city health commissioner, the city has made great progress in controlling TB, but there is more to be done to eliminate the disease as a public health problem. He stressed the need for health care providers to continue collaboration on reporting and monitoring treatment to improve health outcomes for patients with TB, while ensuring that all patients receive the same standard of care regardless of insurance or immigration status.
Although the New York TB rate dropped to a record low of 8 cases per 100,000, it is still double the national rate of 3.2 cases per 100,000 people. The health department explained that foreign-born New Yorkers are disproportionately affected by TB, particularly those from China, Mexico, Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Farley said that TB remains a problem in these countries and in other countries of the world with approximately 9 million individuals becoming ill from TB disease each year and causing the death of more than 1.5 million. Also, there was an increase in multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB). The drug-resistant strains of TB extend the length of treatment and make it more complicated. MDR TB cases in New York dropped from 441 to 9 between 1992 and 2007, and rose to 18 in 2012.