Tuberculosis case reported at correctional center

Health

SAN DIEGO — Health officials are working with prison staff to identify any further cases of tuberculosis after one was confirmed at a federal correctional center.

San Diego County’s health department announced Tuesday that a case was reported at Metropolitan Correctional Center San Diego, located at 808 Union Street. A county news release said others may have been exposed from April 28, 2021 to September 22, 2021.

Tuberculosis can be treated and cured with antibiotics. It is transmitted from person to person during prolonged indoor contact with infected individuals. Symptoms of active tuberculosis include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss, according to the county.

Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten warned that initial infection usually has no symptoms and it may take 8-10 weeks after exposure for a test to come back positive. Individuals exposed at MCC San Diego with a negative test result during the month of October will require a follow-up test on or after November 22.

“For any infected individuals, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can prevent the infectious form of the disease,” Wooten said.

Officials are offering free testing for detainees and Bureau of Prisons staff, and the county health agency was working to provide no-cost tests to anyone released from the facility.

The county said TB is not uncommon in the San Diego region but has been decreasing since the early 1990s. In 2020, 192 cases were reported.

Anyone who would like more information about the potential exposure was asked to call the County TB Control Program at 619-692-8621.

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