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More than 1,000 tested for tuberculosis in rural Alabama

Tuberculosis, a global scourge, has mostly been eradicated in the United States, but minorities and poor people who lack regular health care remain vulnerable.

Marion, the town where Coretta Scott King was raised, is just that kind of community: the seat of Alabama's poorest county, where 47 percent live in poverty and the per-capita annual income is just $13,000.

Spurred by two tuberculosis deaths last year, Alabama public health officials tried reaching out in Marion, and were mostly ignored or turned away. Many people seemed suspicious and unenthusiastic about providing blood samples to the government. Efforts in late 2014 to trace the contacts of people who did test...