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TB Case at Detention Facility

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April 8, 2009

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is working with officials from the County Sheriff’s Department to notify individuals who were possibly exposed to tuberculosis (TB).

An individual diagnosed with TB was housed at the Downtown Central Jail from January 4 to January 8 and at George Bailey Detention Facility from January 8 to March 11. The individual was transferred back to the jail from March 11 to March 12, 2009.   

 “We are issuing this notice in an effort to locate and notify all individuals who may have been exposed to this TB case,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer.  “It is important for anyone exposed to TB to be tested to determine whether or not they have TB infection and need treatment to prevent the progression to TB disease.”

HHSA’s TB Control, working closely with Sheriff’s officials, has identified as many as 2,000 inmates and 100 Corrections and Court staff that were potentially exposed.

“It is especially important that we reach the inmate population that may have been exposed,” said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender. “We have to rely to a certain extent that those individuals will know who they are if they were in either of those facilities on those dates.”

Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss.  Most people who are exposed to TB do not develop the disease.

Tuberculosis is not uncommon in the San Diego region. In 2009 there have been 43 confirmed cases of TB in San Diego County.  In 2008, there were 264 total reported cases of TB. 

Individuals with no medical provider, or anyone who would like more information, may call the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.

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