An increase in the number of tuberculosis cases has been documented in Santa Clara County
Recent data reveals a troubling surge in tuberculosis cases in Santa Clara County. The Public Health Department of the County of Santa Clara reported on Tuesday that there was a 19% rise in new tuberculosis (TB) diagnoses in 2023 compared to the previous year. This increase comes after a 6% uptick in new TB cases in the county in 2022 compared to the preceding year.
In a statement, the county clarified that these figures do not indicate an outbreak but rather signify a growing and widespread community health concern related to a contagious illness.
The most recent available data also indicates that the San Jose area has the highest tuberculosis (TB) rate among all metropolitan regions in the nation. Dr. Ann Loeffler, the tuberculosis controller for Santa Clara County, suggests that individuals who postponed seeking healthcare during the pandemic may have contributed to the rise in TB cases.
As people are now resuming regular healthcare visits, and healthcare providers are considering diseases beyond COVID-19, there has been an increase in TB diagnoses, according to Loeffler.
Officials emphasize the vulnerability of small children living with untreated adults with tuberculosis. In response, county health authorities are urging residents at higher risk to undergo TB testing and seek treatment.
For additional information and a list of TB testing sites in the county, you can visit sccphd.org/TBinfo.