Tuberculosis Cases Drop Sharply In San Francisco

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tuberculosis, chest x-ray

X-ray of a patient diagnosed with advanced bilateral pulmonary tuberculosis. (US Dept. of HHS)

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CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco had the fewest number of tuberculosis cases on record last year, but on Thursday’s World TB day city health officials acknowledged they have a long way to go.

In 2010, there were 98 cases of TB in San Francisco, according to the city’s Deparment of Public Health, which is still three times the national average and twice the state average.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

”We are a wonderful international city and over one third of our population is international, many of them from places in the world with lots of TB,” said Dr. Masae Kawamura. “We also have a large homeless population, but we’re stamping that out.”

The announcement was made at the Curry Senior Center in the Tenderloin, which is named after Dr. Francis Curry who was a pioneer in the treatment of tuberculosis.

Earlier this year, Santa Clara County Health officials reported an uptick in tuberculosis cases.

“11 cases per 100,000 people is about 2.5 times the U.S. rate. The United States is considered to be a low-burden country,” Santa Clara County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Julie Higashi said. “It’s about 1.5 times the rate in California. But if you go to your typical country with a high TB rate, that’s going to be in the hundreds per 100,000.”

Nationwide, tuberculosis cases reached an all-time low in 2010 with only 11,181 cases reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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