2 fair workers diagnosed with TB

Health
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DEL MAR, Calif. — Two employees of a food services firm working at the Del Mar Fairgrounds have been diagnosed with tuberculosis and may have exposed fellow workers, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported.

The Premier Food Service facility where the patients worked is inaccessible to the public, and there is no indication that attendees at the San Diego County Fair currently underway are at risk of exposure, according to the HHSA.

“TB usually requires many hours of close, sustained indoor contact to spread to others, so most people who are exposed do not develop the disease,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “TB is not spread through casual contact, such as shaking someone’s hand or sharing food.”

The period of exposure was Feb. 5 — well before the start of the fair — to June 23, according to the HHSA.

Testing is being offered to Premier staff who may have been exposed and further testing is being conducted to determine if the two cases are related, according to the agency.

“Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss,” said Wooten. “Most people who are exposed to TB do not develop the disease, but when it does occur, it can be treated and cured with medication — that’s why it’s important to identify those who have been exposed.”

TB in not uncommon in the San Diego region but has been decreasing in recent years, according to the HHSA. To date, there have been 89 cases reported in 2015. In 2014, 220 cases were reported in the county.

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

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