In another study in the same issue of MMWR, researchers report on a large outbreak of TB among homeless people in Kane County, Ill.
"Despite the overall decline of TB in the Unites States we continue to experience outbreaks," report co-author Dr. Krista Powell, a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Services Officer, said. "Although we have made progress to eliminate TB we need to retain the ability to respond to outbreaks."
The outbreak occurred in 2007 to 2011 in a homeless shelter. As of September 2011, there were 28 cases among people who had spent a night in the shelter, the CDC reported.
"TB outbreaks among homeless persons are particularly problematic, because it can be difficult to locate or contact these individuals in order to evaluate and provide the lengthy treatment to those who need it. Additionally, certain factors common in this population, such as alcohol use and congregation in crowded shelters, can increase TB risk," the agency says.
In this case, drinking at two bars was also linked to the outbreak, indicating the disease was not just spread at the shelter, according to the report.
The outbreak may be ongoing, Powell said. "The last case that was identified for this outbreak was in December 2011," she said.
For more about tuberculosis, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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