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Massachusetts health officials say tuberculosis cases slowing

Massachusetts health officials say the state is seeing an overall decline in the number of tuberculosis cases, although they warn of a worrisome rise in multidrug-resistant cases. The Department of Public Health said Monday that Massachusetts saw 201 confirmed cases last year, compared with 215 cases in 2012. That followed a record low of 196 cases in 2011. At the same time, health officials said they saw a record number of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis cases in 2013, mirroring national and worldwide trends. Of the 201 cases reported last year, seven were resistant to the two antibiotics most commonly used to treat tuberculosis. The increase of those cases is a concern in part because they are more difficult to treat.

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