The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System received 1,194 tuberculosis (TB) notifications in 2008 and 1,322 notifications in 2009. The incidence of TB in Australia was 5.6 cases per 100,000 population in 2008 and 6.0 per 100,000 in 2009, similar to rates since 1986. In both 2008 and 2009, more than 85% of cases occurred in the overseas-born population. The incidence in the Australian-born Indigenous population was 6.2 per 100,000 population in 2008 and 4.8 per 100,000 in 2009. By contrast, the incidence of TB in the Australian-born non-Indigenous population was 0.9 per 100,000 in both 2008 and 2009. Household or other close contact with TB or past residence in a high risk country were the most commonly reported risk factors for TB infection. In 2008, 83 cases of TB were reported in health care workers; this decreased to 75 in 2009. There were no reports of TB transmission in Australian health care settings. Outcome data of the 2007 and 2008 TB cohort indicate that treatment success was attained in more than 95% of cases. As Australia continues to contribute to global TB control it is important to maintain good centralised reporting of TB to identify populations at risk and for early detection of reversal in trends in TB.
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