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Navy base exposed to tuberculosis

SAN DIEGO – People at Naval Base Point Loma over the last six months may have been exposed to tuberculosis, San Diego County health officials reported Monday.

While nothing was revealed about the source of the exposure, the county Health and Human Services Agency and Navy were working to notify those who may be at risk of catching the disease.

The periods of exposure are from Oct. 1 last year to Jan. 31 at the Old Town Complex, Building OT3, and from Feb. 1 to April 7 in Topside Building.

“Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “Most people who are exposed to TB do not develop the disease.”

She said it’s important to find out who has been exposed, because treatment can minimize the chance of developing active TB.

The Navy will provide free TB testing at the Old Town Complex on Tuesday, and on May 15 and 16 in the Topside auditorium.

People who would like more information are asked to call county TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.

Last year, 258 TB cases were reported in San Diego County, up from 234 the year before. So far this year, 68 cases have been reported.

In general, the number of cases in the region has fallen since 2001, though there have been some fluctuations from year to year.