U.S. tuberculosis cases will reach their highest level in a decade in 2023, according to the CDC

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The number of tuberculosis cases in the U.S. in 2023 was the highest in a decade, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.

The CDC said on its website Thursday that “total cases increased from 8,320 in 2022 to 9,615 in 2023, an increase of 1,295 cases.”

“The rate also increased from 2.5 per 100,000 people in 2022 to 2.9 in 2023,” she added, noting that the numbers increased across all age groups. Agency data shows nearly 10,000 infections in 2013.

CDC officials expected an increase in tuberculosis numbers, but the 2023 number “was slightly higher than expected,” Dr. Philip LoBue, director of the agency’s tuberculosis elimination division, told The Associated Press.


Doctor looks at x-rays of a tuberculosis patient. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The new CDC statistics are not about how many people were newly infected in 2023, but rather how many people developed cough or other symptoms and were diagnosed.

An estimated 85% of people counted in 2023 were infected at least one or two years earlier and had what is known as latent tuberculosis, in which the bacterium enters the body and overwinters in the lungs or other parts of the body. Experts estimate that up to 13 million Americans have latent tuberculosis and are not contagious.

“Although the incidence of tuberculosis in the United States is among the lowest in the world and most U.S. citizens are at minimal risk, tuberculosis continues to cause significant global morbidity and mortality,” the CDC says, calling it “one of the world’s…

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