State Seeing More Tuberculosis Cases

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — State health officials say tuberculosis cases are on the rise in Washington state after several years of decline.

Last year, 209 cases of tuberculosis were reported. That was a 13 percent increase over the 185 cases reported in 2012.

Health officials say the tuberculosis rate in Washington state has typically been lower than the national average, but in 2013 Washington beat the national rate.

The bacterial infection, which can be fatal, is found most often in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Spokane, Clark and Thurston counties. Just 75 years ago, TB killed nearly 1,000 state residents every year. In 2013, there were 16 TB-related deaths.

In 2013, there were two cases of drug-resistant TB reported to the Department of Health. Drug-resistant TB can pose a public health threat.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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