TB cases are still too high in Yorkshire, health chiefs warn.
The number of people suffering the deadly disease dropped by 2% across the region last year.
But there is still more that can be done to stamp out the curable illness.
Dr Ruth Gelletlie, regional director of the Health Protection Agency in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Is it encouraging that we have seen a reduction in the number of cases.
“However, TB is a preventable and treatable disease and so there is no reason for it to at levels demonstrated by these latest figures.”
A total of 657 new cases of TB – tuberculosis – were reported in the region last year compared with 672 in 2007.
But figures have been steadily increasing in Yorkshire since 2005 when there were only 591.
Nationally, numbers rose by 2% in 2008.
London was worst hit with 3,415 new cases followed by the West Midlands where there were 1,027.
The East of England saw the biggest increase with 32% more cases last year than in 2007. Victims in Scotland were also up by 13%.
TB is an infection caused by bacteria which can spread in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
It often affects the lungs and develops slowly with symptoms including fever and night sweats, a persistent cough, losing weight and blood in the phlegm.
Dr Gelletlie added: “The key to halting the health burden which this disease causes in the UK is prompt diagnosis and treatment of infectious cases.
“We are working closely with health professionals in our region and across the country to continually develop ways of controlling this disease.
“We know the burden of TB exists mainly in high risk groups including hard-to-reach communities.
“We are working with the Department of Health on outreach programmes to tackle directly the areas and groups with the highest numbers.”
A TB conference for health professionals is being held in Yorkshire later in the year to find ways of tackling the problem.
The illness can be cured, usually with a six-month course of antibiotics which must be completed.
Health experts say it is unusual to catch TB by simply sitting next to someone on a train. The infection is normally spread through prolonged and close contact.
It also affects children and adults differently and is unlikely to caught from a child.
The disease is treated at TB clinics where treatment is free and there is no prescription charge.