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World TB Day --- March 24, 2010

World TB Day is observed each year on March 24 to commemorate the date in 1882 when Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). Worldwide, TB remains one of the leading causes of death from infectious disease. Each year, approximately 9 million persons around the world become ill with TB, and nearly 2 million TB-related deaths occur worldwide (1). World TB Day provides an opportunity for TB programs, nongovernmental organizations, and others to describe problems and solutions related to the TB pandemic and to support worldwide TB control efforts. The U.S. theme for this year's observance is TB Elimination: Together We Can!

The number of reported TB cases in the United States is at an all-time low, with 17 consecutive years of decline. However, racial/ethnic minority populations and foreign-born persons continue to account for a disproportionate percentage of TB cases (2). Clinicians, laboratorians, and public health departments must remain vigilant to guard against the resurgence of TB.

CDC is committed to eliminating TB in the United States. Achieving this goal demands targeted interventions for populations at high risk. Multidrug-resistant TB remains a threat, and extensively drug-resistant TB has become an emerging threat (3). Additional information about World TB Day and CDC's TB elimination activities is available at http://www.cdc.gov/tb/events/worldtbday.

References

  1. World Health Organization. Global tuberculosis control: a short update to the 2009 report. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2009. Available at http://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/2009/update/tbu_9.pdf. Accessed March 11, 2010.
  2. CDC. Decrease in reported tuberculosis cases---United States, 2009. MMWR 2010;59:289--94.
  3. CDC. Plan to combat extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. Recommendations of the Federal Tuberculosis Task Force. MMWR 2009;58(No. RR-3).


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