WPR News
6:22 am
Mon November 5, 2007

TB, HIV Cases Low for Wyoming

Laramie, WY – Wyoming has moved up in the rankings done by a national health organization. The United Health Foundation says Wyoming is now 19th out of the fifty states when it comes to various health standards. That means it moved up four spots compared to last year.

One area where the state shines is the low incidence of infectious disease, like HIV and tuberculosis. The state's tuberculosis program manager, Alex Bowler, says thanks to a carefully-targeting testing program, Wyoming only sees a handful of full-blown TB cases each year.

But success does have a down-side. Bowler says the biggest challenge is that with so few cases, it's easy for tuberculosis to drop off physicians' radar screens. On the rare occasion when a patient does come in with all the symptoms of tuberculosis, a physician may not make the right diagnosis.

Still, Bowler says, the low infection rate is a very good sign that Wyoming is doing something right.