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updated: 3/22/2013 8:43 AM

Illinois sees decline in tuberculosis cases

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois health officials say last year saw a record low in the number of tuberculosis cases in the state.

There were 347 cases of TB reported in the state in 2012. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that was a decline from 359 cases the previous year.

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Health officials attribute the success to a practice called directly observed therapy. It's important that patients take all their medicine over the course of six to 12 months. Directly observed therapy involves health department staff meeting regularly with patients to watch them take their medications.

Department Director LaMar Hasbrouck says the worldwide tuberculosis situation can affect Illinois. Most of the state's TB cases are among people who were born in countries where TB is common, such as Mexico, India and the Philippines.

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