U.S. TB cases dropped by 6.4 percent in 2011

U.S. health officials recently announced that cases of tuberculosis in the country dropped 6.4 percent in 2011.

Although now at a record low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the United States missed a national target of eliminating the disease among foreign-born individuals, according to

The CDC said that, unless factors change significantly, the United States will not be able to eliminate TB, decreasing the number of cases to less than one per every million people, until 2100.

"Addressing the increasing difference between TB rates in foreign-born and U.S.-born persons is critical for TB elimination," the CDC said in a weekly report issued ahead of World TB Day on March 24, reports.

According to the CDC, U.S. TB rates fell to 10,521 reported cases, or 3.4 cases per 100,000 people, in 2011. That number of cases is the lowest seen in the country since TB reporting began in 1953.

Despite the overall success seen in the declining number of cases, officials are concerned that TB remains difficult to tame in certain populations, including the foreign-born, African Americans, Asians and those infected with HIV.

The TB infection rate for foreign-born individuals is 12 times the national average. More than half of the cases are individuals from only five countries - Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, India and China.

The CDC report also said that half of the cases in the United States can be found in four states - California, Texas, New York and Florida.