Dear Colleague Letters
CDC Releases “Reported Tuberculosis in the United States, 2020”
October 25, 2021
Earlier this year, on March 25, 2021, CDC published provisional tuberculosis (TB) data in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The full report, Reported Tuberculosis in the United States, 2020, is now available exclusively online.
The report describes information on TB disease reported to the CDC since 1993, with an emphasis on TB disease cases counted by the reporting area in 2020, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on TB disease surveillance.
TB data from 2020 data reveal a substantial decline in the number of reported cases of TB disease in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has probably affected reported TB incidence in the United States in several ways, including a combination of TB underdiagnosis and a true reduction in incidence. CDC is conducting additional analyses to better understand how the 2020 TB data compare with previous years.
Key Data Points:
- The reported number of TB cases in the United States declined from 8,904 TB cases in 2019 to 7,174 TB cases in 2020, a 19.4% decrease.
- The national TB incidence rate decreased from 2.7 cases per 100,000 persons in 2019 to 2.2 cases per 100,000 persons in 2020. Seven states and the District of Columbia reported TB disease incidence rates higher than the national average TB disease incidence rate.
- As in past years, cases of TB disease were not evenly distributed across the United States. Four states account for slightly more than half (50.3%) of all reported U.S. TB cases: California, Texas, New York (including New York City), and Florida.
In 2020, people from racial and ethnic minority groups and non-U.S.–born persons continued to be disproportionately affected by TB disease in the United States, highlighting the persistent health disparities and inequities among people with TB disease. To eliminate TB disease, we must diagnose, treat, and prevent TB disease even as the response to COVID-19 continues, especially among groups at increased risk of TB disease. Timely diagnoses of TB disease save lives and prevent spread in our communities.
To support TB education and outreach to clinicians, health care agencies, and community organizations, CDC has created the following materials to highlight findings from the 2020 surveillance report:
As TB colleagues across the United States and around the world continue to make valuable contributions in the response to COVID-19, we gratefully acknowledge the contributions of all state and local health departments throughout the United States whose staff collected and reported the data used in the 2020 surveillance report.
Thank you for your work and commitment to eliminate TB in the United States.
Philip LoBue, MD, FACP, FCCP
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention