ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Health officials say there were 40 new cases of tuberculosis diagnosed last year in New Mexico and that’s the lowest number in the state since 2005.
But they say New Mexico residents remain three times more likely to die from the bacterial illness than other Americans.
The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/YFI0vq) reports new cases of TB have averaged around 50 a year from 2000 to 2011.
Health officials say TB kills about 15 percent of New Mexicans in active treatment for the illness each year. That’s well above the U.S. mortality rate of 4 percent.
There were six reported TB deaths in New Mexico last year.
Authorities say the state’s high death rate reflects delayed treatment of some patients because they were slow to seek medical care or were initially misdiagnosed.