CDC recommends more tuberculosis testing, treatment as 5 Arizona counties have higher rates

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Monday, November 6, 2023 - 7:03am

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Graphic showing rates of tuberculosis from the CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Up to 13 million people in the U.S. could have latent tuberculosis.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling for the medical community to be more aggressive in TB testing and treatment.

The call follows a report showing that only about half of physicians routinely screen at-risk patients born outside the country, which account for about three-quarters of reported U.S. cases.

The agency recommends routinely testing people at higher risk and treating latent TB infections with a short course of rifamycin to stop them from developing into active disease.

Arizona’s TB rate falls in the lower half of the U.S. and its territories, but some of its counties are hotspots: Apache and Graham counties exceed the national incidence rate; Santa Cruz and Pinal roughly double it; and Yuma County more than triples it.

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