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TB Shows First Big Leap in 30 Years

Associated Press

Federal researchers Thursday reported the first substantial yearly increase in tuberculosis in the United States in more than 30 years of record-keeping, and said AIDS may be partly to blame.

The nation recorded 22,768 cases of tuberculosis in 1986, up 2.6% from 22,201 in 1985, the federal Centers for Disease Control said.

The increase is the first “substantial” increase in the lung disease among Americans since the nation’s TB reporting system was implemented in 1953, the CDC said.

Disease Among Refugees

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The only previous increases came in 1963 and 1975, when changes in reporting criteria brought more cases into the totals, and in 1980, when large numbers of TB-infected refugees arrived from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The report confirms preliminary data released earlier which found an increase and linked it to the spread of AIDS.

A study reported earlier this year found that 5% of New York’s AIDS patients also had tuberculosis.

A study of 58 male TB patients in New York who agreed to be tested found that 31 of them were infected with the virus that causes AIDS, the CDC reported.

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In Florida, 10% of the state’s 1,094 reported AIDS patients also had TB, the CDC added.


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