ATLANTA, March 17 (UPI) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday said the U.S. tuberculosis rate fell to an all-time low in 2004.
The report, published in the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality publication, said TB surveillance data showed there were 4.9 cases per 100,000 people -- for a total of 14,511 active cases in the United States.
The rate is the lowest ever recorded but the 3.3 percent decline from 2003 rates was one of the smallest in more than a decade, the report said.
The CDC said TB still disproportionately affects minority communities. Compared with whites, Asians are 20 times more likely and blacks and Hispanics are eight times more likely to have TB. The report found 7,701 of the TB cases reported in 2004 were among foreign-born individuals.
CDC researchers said TB remains a major public health threat that must be fought globally.