Maine CDC issues Public Health Advisory: Increase in TB

During 2018–2022, Maine had an average of 16 new cases of TB disease per year. As of November 28, 2023, Maine has identified 24 new cases, representing a 41% increase in cases compared to 2022. Twelve of these new cases have been diagnosed since September 2023, and may have exposed people in schools, churches, shelters, health care settings, and other facilities.
TB is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) and can cause disease in any part of the body, including the spine, brain, and lymph nodes, but most commonly in the lungs, causing pulmonary disease. Patients infected with M. tuberculosis can have LTBI or TB disease.
Individuals with LTBI are asymptomatic and noninfectious. Bacteria are present within the lungs but are contained and unable to spread to others. Left untreated, approximately 5-10% of individuals with LTBI will progress to TB disease during their lifetime.
Individuals with TB disease are symptomatic and infectious until treated. TB disease can be fatal if not recognized and treated.
 An individual with LTBI may be infected for weeks, or more commonly months or years, before developing TB disease. Some never develop TB disease. Prolonged exposure is normally necessary for people to become infected with M. tuberculosis, such as to family members, coworkers, colleagues, or friends.
 More details about LTBI and TB disease can be found in a recent Maine CDC health advisory Think. Test. Treat Tuberculosis (TB) in Maine (March 24, 2023) and on U.S. CDC's website.
 Maine CDC will host a special one-hour webinar on December 4, 2023 at 12 noon.  Click here to see the Health Alert Network (HAN) System notice as well as the webinar registration information.  
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