Connecticut Department of Public Health
Tuberculosis Control Program
Project Abstract Summary
Similar to the United States as a whole, Connecticut (CT) has seen continued declines in tuberculosis (TB) cases over the last several years. While CT has lower TB incidence compared to the national average (1.8 vs. 2.8), rates have plateaued. In 2014 the TB incidence rate in CT was 1.7/100,000; in 2018 it was 1.8/100,000. Despite these low numbers, CT’s TB cases continue to be both socially and medical complex.
CT’s risk population for TB is primarily non-U.S. born persons that live in or visit the state. Over the last five years, the vast majority (as high as 85%) of cases have occurred among non-U.S. born persons, representing many different countries of origin. From 2014–2018, CT had seen 296 TB cases. Among these cases, 2.4% of these were in children =5 years old, 18.2% in persons =70 years old, 13% in diabetics, and 4% were in HIV–positive persons. All of these characteristics present their own challenges in addition to the TB disease. In addition during the same period, CT saw 8 (3%) multi-drug resistant cases diagnosed in the state.
As a low-incidence jurisdiction, and given the plateauing of TB incidence rates in CT, attention must shift to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with LTBI. Over the next five years, CT is dedicated to decreasing the incidence of TB disease in the state by: 1) continuing the high level of case management and technical assistance for TB disease patients to ensure completion of treatment, and 2) providing tools and resources for increasing the identification and treatment of persons with latent TB infection (LTBI). These include strong and expanded collaborations, education/training of partners, strengthening surveillance capacity with new/updated databases, and learning from evaluation plans. Activities aimed at strengthening CT DPH Laboratory practices and procedures will ensure timely and reliable results for detecting, managing, and decreasing TB. Finally, the completion of a CT TB Elimination Plan will further formalize the Program’s strategies and activities to eliminate TB in CT.