The continuing challenge of tuberculosis

Office of Technology Assessment
Record ID 31995000084
Authors' objectives:

To synthesize current understanding of tuberculosis in the United States and to provide an overview of Federal government involvement in its control.

Authors' results and conclusions: After having declined for thirty years, the overall incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in the United States has been on the rise since the mid-1980s. In some communities, the problem is extremely serious, compounding other social ills including HIV/AIDS, homelessness, drug abuse, and poverty. Particularly disturbing is the emergence of tuberculosis strains resistant to multiple drugs (MDR-TB). The reemergence of TB has multiple causes including all of the factors mentioned above, immigration, and a lack of resources for its control. Science and technology have provided effective means to help prevent TB including adequate case finding and treatment, preventive therapy, and infection control procedures. Preventive therapy has probably been underutilized for individuals infected with the TB mycobacteria and at high risk of becoming sick. The BCG vaccine is of uncertain efficacy and would not add to TB control in the United States. The greatest obstacle to TB control is not completing effective treatment. The Federal government has a long history of providing resources and leadership to State and local health authorities in the control of tuberculosis. However, only in the past few years has the government begun to restore funding to tuberculosis programs that were drastically cut over the 1970s and early 1980s.
Authors' recommendations: The report analyzes the pros and cons of several options for Congressional consideration that have been suggested as potential ways to help control TB.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1993
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Tuberculosis
Organisation Name: U. S. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment
Copyright: Office of Technology Assessment
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