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TUBERCULOSIS INVESTIGATION -- BELLE GLADE

By Public Health Communications

March 26, 2015

TB INVESTIGATION-BELLE GLADE 

BELLE GLADE, FL—The Florida Department of  Health in Palm Beach County is conducting a contact investigation among students and staff at Glades Central High School after a student tested positive for Tuberculosis Disease.

Letters are being sent to students, teachers and other staff members identified as close contacts recommending they receive a tuberculosis test through the Health Department or their private doctor.    

“When we investigate a TB case we first get a confirmatory diagnosis.  If evidence warrants, we extend our search into the community,” said Health Department Director, Dr. Alina Alonso. 

Although cases of Latent TB Infection (LTBI), TB Disease and Multi Drug Resistant  (MDR) TB are declining in the county, TB cases are still present and must be investigated. 

LTBI is found in persons who were exposed to the disease at some point in their life and their body has contained the mycobacterium tuberculosis.  These individuals are at risk of TB disease. TB disease is, in most cases, characterized by respiratory problems that result in constant coughing for more than three weeks, fever, night sweats, weight loss and coughing up blood.  A person with TB disease can pass it on through airborne particles as a result of coughing.  For both conditions (LTBI and TB Disease) treatment is available. 

CDC guidelines no longer recommend testing for all persons entering school, day care and most work locations.  Some groups however, it is recommended, should be tested:

  • Persons who have been recently infected with TB
  • Persons who have been in contact with a person with TB disease,
  • Recent Immigrants from TB-endemic regions of the world
  • Residents and employees of high-risk congregate settings (jails, homeless shelters, health care facilities.)
  • Persons with clinical conditions that increase their risk of progressing from LTBI to TB disease. (HIV infected, immune compromised, drug users, etc)

More information on Tuberculosis can be obtained by calling the TB Control Program at the Health Department (561) 803-7309 or (561) 803-7311 or on the web at, www.flhealthpalmbeach.org   

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