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Tuberculosis Cases Reported Among Migrant Farm Workers in the United States, 1993-97


Migrant farm workers (MFWs) are considered a high-risk group for tuberculosis. MFW tuberculosis cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention represented 1 percent of all reported tuberculosis cases from 1993 to 1997. Most of these cases (70 percent) were reported from Florida, Texas, and California. MFW tuberculosis cases were more likely to be male, foreign-born, or Hispanic and to have a history of alcohol abuse and homelessness than were non-MFWs. Most (79 percent) foreign-born MFWs were from Mexico. HIV status was poorly reported, with results available for only 28 percent of MFW and 33 percent of non-MFW cases. Of the MFWs tested, 28 percent were HIV infected, whereas 34 percent of non-MFWs were HIV infected. Twenty percent of MFWs move or are lost to follow-up before completing therapy; these cases pose a management challenge for the nation's tuberculosis control efforts.

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