Unless they're eradicated smallpox-style, infectious diseases never disappear. Like an unlucky penny, they can show up at any time. Three stories from around the U.S. serve to underscore a crucial lesson.
The ratio of tuberculosis cases comparing immigrants to native-born Americans is more than 2:1. Standardizing these numbers paints an even starker picture. The incidence of tuberculosis is almost 15 per 100,000 immigrants, while it is only 1 per 100,000 native-born Americans. The good news is that tuberculosis is curable, and the disease is in decline all over the world.
The recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC, indicates that after 20 years of consistent decline the incidence of tuberculosis infection has leveled off. This indicates a very real need for global and domestic efforts to detect, treat and prevent TB.