3 TB cases reported at 2 local college campuses

SAN DIEGO –Two people at Palomar College in San Marcos and one at the Point Loma Nazarene regional campus in Mission Valley had tuberculosis and may have exposed others, county health officials reported Thursday.

The county Health and Human Services Agency is working with school officials to notify students and staff who might have been exposed in the apparently unrelated cases.

At Palomar College, the periods of potential exposure were from April 24 to May 11 in one case and June 26 to Aug. 2 in the other, according to the HHSA.

For students and staff notified of possible exposure, the college will offer no-cost testing beginning Monday through Sept. 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Student Health Center on campus.

At PLNU, people might have been exposed on Aug. 28. Free testing will take place Monday at the center at 4007 Camino Del Rio S.

“Symptoms of active TB disease include 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 active disease,” Wooten said. “Those who test positive for TB can be treated with medication to prevent or cure active disease — that’s why it’s important for those with possible exposure to get tested.”

The HHSA said tuberculosis is not uncommon in the San Diego region but has been decreasing in recent years. There were 234 TB cases reported in San Diego in 2015 and 258 cases in 2016. To date, 132 cases have been reported this year.

More information about the potential exposure is available by calling the County TB Control Program at 619-692-8621.