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Investments in tuberculosis control bring infection rate down to 30-year low in King County
Tuberculosis (TB) rates in King County have declined to a 30-year low, and drops in TB rates are being seen across the nation thanks to continued investments in local TB control efforts. But being at a global crossroads means that King County continues to be at higher risk for new cases in the United States, given the worldwide TB epidemic.
- 106 cases of active TB were reported.
- Public Health’s TB Control Program provided more than 9,000 patient visits at its clinic.
- The TB rate fell to a 30-year low, with 5.5 cases per 100,000 people. However, the rate in King County remains significantly higher than the rates in Washington state (3.0) and the United States (3.4).
- 18 cases (one out of every six treated in King County) were resistant to at least one TB medication, and one had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB). Each MDR case can cost $250,000 or more and take at least 18 months to treat.
- Through expanded use of web-based technology, patients can now connect with clinic staff online to verify they are taking their medications and talk to TB clinic staff about their treatment.
- A new, shorter treatment plan is being introduced that reduces the medication regimen from nine to three months, making it easier for patients to complete their treatment.