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Illinois records record low in TB cases

(CDC/Dr. Ray Butler)
Tuberculosis bacteria, shown here under a high-powered microscope, become active, and begin to multiply, if the immune system can't stop them from growing. The bacteria attack the body and destroy tissue.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says the state experienced a record low number of new tuberculosis cases last year, but the news isn't all good.

Health officials say Illinois still ranks fifth in the nation when it comes to the number of TB cases. And Health Department Acting Director Arthur Kohrman says many of the new cases are the drug-resistant type, which are harder to overcome.

Officials say 359 cases of active TB were reported in Illinois in 2011. That's a decrease from 372 cases reported in 2010.

Tuberculosis is a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted from person to person through the air when a TB-infected person coughs or sneezes.

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