The CDC says tuberculosis in the U.S. is at its lowest rate ever and 60% of cases reported are among foreign-born people. However, one agency expert said the rate of decline in TB cases has slowed since 2000.
Tuberculosis incidence in the U.S. has reached an all-time low, down from 3.2 cases per 100,000 people in 2012 to 3.0 per 100,000 last year, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Increased screening may have helped save $15 million in annual health costs. Foreign-born people are 13 times more likely to be diagnosed with TB than native-born Americans, the CDC said. California, Florida, New York and Texas accounted for more than half of the fewer than 9,600 TB cases in 2013.
The number of tuberculosis cases in the U.S. dropped 6.4% last year to 10,521, or 3.4 cases per 100,000 people, CDC officials announced on Thursday. The agency found that TB rates were 12 times higher among foreign-born people. More than half of those cases originated in Mexico, the Philippines, India, China and Vietnam.
Health officials and practitioners have become alarmed at the increasing number of parents opting for vaccine exemptions for their children based on religious and personal beliefs, including unproven claims that vaccines can cause autism and other illnesses. "If you have clusters of exemptions, you increase the risk of exposing everyone in the community," an expert said. Another doctor, however, said that the matter is not "such a critical public health issue that we should force parents into it."
Researchers say a husband's physical health can be influenced by the level of his wife's psychological distress if either spouse has cancer. The study found all married couples were affected by each other's state of mind, but men were more vulnerable to poorer physical health.
All hospitals should have palliative care and hospice protocols in place, and nurses can help advocate for early termination and comfort measures for do-not-resuscitate patients. The case of a dying patient who didn't receive appropriate palliative care underscores the ways in which nurses can make an impact on hospital practices.