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Tuberculosis in US hits record low

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Cases of tuberculosis reached an all-time low in the United States last year, but the disease continued to affect minorities at much higher rates than whites, health authorities said Thursday.

There were fewer than 10,000 US cases of TB for the first time since records began being compiled in 1953, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 9,951 recorded cases marked a 6.1 percent drop in the rate from 2011, and continued a 20-year trend of declining cases.

There was only one report of extensively drug-resistant TB last year in the United States, the CDC said.

However, the rates of TB among minorities and people born outside the United States were far higher than among whites.

Hispanics and African-Americans had TB rates that were seven times higher than whites, and the rate among Asians was 25 times higher.

Foreign-born individuals showed TB rates 12 times higher than seen in people born in the United States.

Tuberculosis remains one of the globe's top killers, according to the World Health Organization, which recorded 8.7 million new cases around the world in 2011, causing 1.4 million deaths.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130321/tuberculosis-us-hits-record-low