Sustaining Record Low Incidence of Tuberculosis In Oklahoma

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Tuberculosis (TB) is often considered a disease of the past. And in fact, Oklahoma sustained a record low number of 143 persons with active tuberculosis disease in 2006. But tuberculosis is also a communicable disease that knows no boundaries and can quickly spread if not contained. A case of TB anywhere in the world means the potential for TB to strike everywhere is still a threat.

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This year as part of the World TB Day observance on Saturday, March 24, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will join federal and international health agencies in recognizing the continuing role that tuberculosis plays in causing disease and death in Oklahoma and around the world.

"This is a time to remind the public and health providers to be aware that the threat of TB still persists and our fight against TB must remain vigilant," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Crutcher.

Cases of tuberculosis have steadily declined in Oklahoma since 2001. While good news, health officials are extremely concerned that about 10 percent of all new TB infections are now resistant to at least one anti-TB drug. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, or XDR-TB, has now been documented in 28 countries around the world with the most significant occurrence of XDR-TB in persons living in South Africa, South Korea and Eastern Europe.

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