Tuberculosis cases increased again in 2022, says CDC
New CDC data reveal that U.S. tuberculosis (TB) cases totaled 8,300 last year, an increase of 5%. CDC is urging communities at greater risk and health care providers to “Think. Test. Treat TB.”
The data show that TB cases rose in 2022, although they did not return to pre–COVID-19 pandemic levels. Some public health officials were worried about the effect of missed or delayed diagnoses of TB disease in 2020, during which cases fell 20%. CDC’s data now point to a rebound in cases 2 years later.
CDC noted that TB cases in children aged 4 years and younger tend to result from recent transmission rather than reactivation of latent TB infection.
CDC also advises that incarcerated individuals should be screened upon entry and yearly, as well as if they exhibit TB symptoms in a setting that raises the likelihood of outbreaks.
People from certain racial and ethnic groups are also at greater risk for TB, but recent innovations have made treatment more accessible. Today’s TB treatment regiments are also shorter.
“For the second year in a row, TB disease cases in the U.S. have continued to rise, with concerning increases among young children and other groups at increased risk for TB disease. Communities, providers, and public health partners must work together to make sure we are reaching the right people with testing and treatment, so we can prevent and stop the spread of TB,” said Philip LoBue, MD, director of CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, in a CDC press statement.