Preliminary TB data released by CDC ahead of World TB Day show that the number of U.S. TB disease cases increased 5% in 2022 to 8,300 cases. CDC is calling on healthcare providers and communities disproportionately affected by TB to Think. Test. Treat TB.
TB disease cases in 2022 increased but did not return to pre-pandemic levels. Some public health officials were concerned about delayed or missed diagnoses of TB disease in 2020, following a substantial 20% decline that year. Now, two years later, CDC data signal a rebound in cases and show considerable increases among some groups, including:
- Children aged 4 and under: cases in this age group are particularly concerning because they usually result from recent transmission versus reactivation of long-standing latent TB infection.
- People who are incarcerated: highlighting the importance of entry and annual screening and prompt evaluation of people with TB symptoms in a setting that increases the risk for outbreaks.
- People from some racial and ethnic groups: underscoring the importance of increasing TB prevention services in communities at risk for TB.
Fortunately, recent TB innovations mean treatment is less burdensome and more accessible.
- Shorter treatment regimens help patients finish treatment faster
- Innovations such as CDC-recommended video-directly observed therapy (vDOT) can conserve time and costs for some patients and TB programs.
“The message is loud and clear – TB is still here,” said Philip LoBue, MD, FACP, FCCP, Director of CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. “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.”