State Sees 13 Percent Decrease In Tuberculosis Cases

March 24, 2014

The state health department said the number of Tuberculosis cases in Arizona is falling. The number of infections dropped by 13 percent in 2013, compared to the year before.

The progress in Arizona mirrors a larger trend. Nationwide, health officials are reporting a 4 percent decrease in TB in 2013.

Dr. Lisa Villarroel is the acting TB control officer for the state health department. She said 2013 was a good year for Arizona.

"Many other states have also had decreases. Nationwide, it looks like there was a 4 percent decrease in the number of case, so Arizona I think played a large role in that," said Villarroel.

Villaroel credits several state efforts to the positive progress, including a focus on completing treatment.

"For example, we place a strong focus on completion of treatment so when someone starts treatment for TB they finish the entire regimen," said Villarroel.

Villarroel added that despite the improvement, there are still significant risk factors for contracting the disease. In Arizona, those include having HIV or Diabetes as well as being foreign born or living in a correctional facility.

Updated 3/24/2014 at 4:43 p.m.