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Massachusetts Tuberculosis Cases Down

RUSSIA - OCTOBER 24: Olga Ostroumova examines x-rays of patients at the tuberculosis clinic in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Monday, October 23, 2006. (Photo by Evgeniy Pavlenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Associated Press – Massachusetts health officials say the state is seeing an overall decline in tuberculosis, although they warn of a worrisome rise in multi-drug resistant cases.

The Department of Public Health said Monday that last year Massachusetts saw 201 confirmed cases, compared with 215 cases in 2012.

That followed a record low of 196 cases in 2011.

At the same time, health officials said they saw a record number of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis cases in 2013, mirroring national and worldwide trends.

Of the 201 cases reported last year, seven were resistant to the two antibiotics most commonly used to treat TB.

The increase of those cases is a concern in part because they’re more difficult to treat, requiring up to two years of intensive medical care to cure.

In 2012, only one such case was found in Massachusetts.

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