While New York City saw a decrease in TB prevalence during the past year, several states also reported on the progress they’ve made in the battle against tuberculosis as World TB Day comes upon us tomorrow.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria/CDC
Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria/CDC

In Louisiana, health authorities say TB rates cut by more than half over the past several years. Louisiana’s case rate in 2014 was 2.6 per 100,000 (TB cases per 100,000 person population), a 59-percent reduction from the 2010 case rate of 4.4 per 100,000. In 2014, Louisiana moved to 12 percent below the national case rate, and the progress over the past five years has improved Louisiana’s ranking among states with the highest TB case rates. In 2010, only eight states had higher case rates than Louisiana. By 2014 that numbered doubled, with 16 states having higher case rates than Louisiana.

“Our TB Control Program staff, nurses and infectious disease investigators across the state have worked hard and been innovative in order to make significant progress on the behalf of Louisiana’s residents. Our public health scientists, medical experts and field staff continue to work closely with local communities to keep them as healthy and safe as possible, and we’re glad to see such progress with tuberculosis reduction,” says J.T. Lane, DHH Assistant Secretary for Public Health.

In Tennessee, they saw a slight increase in TB cases last year. The number of TB cases increased in Tennessee in 2014 to 151 compared to 143 cases reported in 2013.

“As we observe World TB Day, we know we can’t let our guard down,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “The Tennessee Department of Health works daily to identify TB infection, prevent TB disease and treat infectious TB disease to help save lives.

“Tuberculosis remains a global epidemic with nearly nine million new cases and more than a million deaths every year,” Dreyzehner continued. “Once TB was a leading cause of death in Tennessee, but thanks to prevention and treatment activities TB is now rare here. World TB day marks our hope this disease can eventually be entirely eliminated in our state, across the country and around the world.”

Washington has had a slight decline in tuberculosis (TB) cases in 2014 but state and local public health officials are still on high alert when it comes to this disease.

Last year, 193 cases of TB were reported in Washington – an 8 percent decrease from the 209 cases reported in 2013. TB rates in our state are typically lower than the national average; however, some communities have TB rates substantially higher than the national average. Efforts to eliminate the deadly disease in our state must be tailored to address diversity of affected populations.

“Tuberculosis remains a disease of concern internationally and in Washington,” State Communicable Disease Epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist said. “TB can be diagnosed, treated, and cured, yet it takes real commitment and effort to effectively deal with this disease.”

March 24 is World TB Day – a day set aside to share solutions and discuss issues related to this disease that infects about nine million people and kills around two million of them worldwide each year.