Outbreak report Open Access
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A descriptive analysis of routine surveillance data on tuberculosis (TB) from 1995 to 1999 was performed in Austria. The federal states of Vienna and Upper Austria showed the highest yearly incidences for all five years. In general, however, a decrease of the yearly incidence was observed for all federal states except for Carinthia (where there was a small increase of 3.2 %). In the cities of Vienna, Linz, Wels, Salzburg, Klagenfurt and St-Pölten, as well as in the regions of Eastern Tyrol, Southern Carinthia, and Southern Burgenland, the incidence was above average (>19 cases/100 000 for each). The number of cases per year and per district reported by the statutory reporting system were clearly in excess of those reported by hospitals. The comparison of the two datasets, however, showed a highly significant regional correlation of age standardised morbidity rates at district level. The findings are prone to reporting bias and might not reflect the real TB situation. The responsible health authorities should therefore consider the results as a 'working hypothesis’ in order to review the reporting behaviour at district level.


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