Wednesday, November 23, 2016
By Jennier Frank
Connecticut Health Investigative Team
Reported cases of tuberculosis jumped 17 percent in Connecticut from 2014 to 2015, mirroring a national and global trend and prompting federal officials to ask primary care providers to be on the alert for at-risk patients.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) said 70 people, in 29 towns, were reported with active TB, the contagious form of the disease, in 2015, compared with 60 the year before. About 80 percent of Connecticut patients were foreign-born, many from Asian countries.
Nationally, TB cases totaled 9,563 last year, an increase of 157 over 2014. It was the first jump in cases after more than two decades of annual declines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. New England had one of the largest regional upswings, federal figures show, with 330 reported cases, a 7.5 percent increase.
Connecticut and national health officials are unclear on what’s behind the uptick and said more studies are needed. Drug-resistant strains have become a challenge, but that’s largely a problem overseas at this point, they said. About two-thirds of the cases nationally in 2015 were foreign born, the CDC said.
Posted 11/23/16 at 07:27 PM Permalink