Officials notifying individuals possibly exposed to TB outbreak

tuberculosis

SAN DIEGO — County officials announced Friday they’re working to notify individuals who might have been exposed to tuberculosis in two unrelated cases involving three county facilities.

The periods for potential exposure listed by the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department are July 5- 13 at the Vista Detention Facility; July 9-10 at North County Court Services and July 18, 19 and July 26 to Aug. 3 at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility.

“Testing is recommended for people who were exposed to assure they are not infected, since initial infection usually has no symptoms,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “For any infected individuals, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can prevent the infectious form of the disease.”

The county will offer tuberculosis testing for free to individuals who might have been exposed. Residents seeking more information on the two potential exposures are asked to call the county tuberculosis control program at 619-692-8621 or the Sheriff’s Department Infection Control at 858-974- 5971.

The cases are the 106th and 107th to be reported in 2018. The annual number of TB cases in the county has decreased since the 1990s. Reported cases totaled 258 in 2016 and 237 in 2017.

Tuberculosis is transmitted person-to-person through indoor air during prolonged contact with an infected individual. Health officials say most people who are exposed do not become infected.

Symptoms of active tuberculosis include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. The disease can be treated and cured with antibiotics.