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Tuberculosis Rates Falling in Travis County, Texas and Nation

This Sunday is World T-B Day, a day to help raise awareness about the health and economic affects of tuberculosis.

The rate of tuberculosis cases in Texas is going down by an average of 4 percent annually. In Travis County, the number of cases has dropped steadily over the past few years after a recent rise in cases.  There were 37 cases in 2012, 52 cases in 2011 and 67 in 2010.

Travis County Clinic Manager Rosalinda Castaneda says tuberculosis is treatable, as long as the proper medication is taken.

“With any disease there is always the possibility of death occurring," Castaneda said. "That does not happen very regularly with TB in Travis County.”

The Department of State Health Services is hosting a program Monday about tuberculosis. The program will be held in the Community Room of Building 635 at the Austin State Hospital. Texas Department of State Health Services spokesperson Christine Mann said events like this one are important.

“Well I think TB is sometimes considered a disease of the past," Mann said. "But the truth is even though TB rates have dropped for the past, it still exists.”

In the United States, the rate of tuberculosis declined 6.1 percent between 2011 and 2012. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that this is the first time the United States is below 10,000 reported TB cases.

"We know the decline is in large efforts to our TB control programs," Dr. Terrence Lo, from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said. "This is a reminder. Even though we do see declines, this is a reminder that we must remain diligent about the disease if we want to eliminate it in the U.S."

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