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Possible exposure prompts TB testing at Naval Base Point Loma

SAN DIEGO - The Navy is scheduled to begin providing free tuberculosis testing Tuesday for people who may have been exposed to the disease over the last six months at Naval Base Point Loma.

The testing is scheduled to be held at the base's Old Town Complex, where people might have been exposed to TB between Oct. 1 last year and Jan. 31 in Building OT3, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

County health officials said more potential exposures could have taken place between Feb. 1 and April 7 at the Topside section of the base, in Building 40. Testing there is scheduled for May 15 and 16, in the auditorium.

"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.

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.