State tuberculosis cases up sharply so far this year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State health officials report a 50 percent increase in tuberculosis cases in Tennessee during the first quarter of the year.

Figures show 41 cases so far this year, compared with 27 during the same period in 2007.

Dr. Jon Warkentin, Tennessee's tuberculosis control officer, is keeping tabs on the numbers. He said it's not yet clear if tuberculosis cases are really spiking or the increase is just a fluke.

Tuberculosis is a potentially fatal disease caused by bacteria that attack the lungs, kidney, spine and brain.

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