Health

One dead, 9 hospitalized in tuberculosis outbreak, Long Beach Health Department says • Long Beach Post News

Long Beach health officials today declared a state of emergency due to a tuberculosis outbreak that has killed one person and hospitalized 9 others, according to a city release.

Health officials have confirmed 14 total cases of the illness and believe about 170 people were exposed during the outbreak, which they say is linked to a local hotel.

Health officials said they would not name the hotel publicly to protect people’s privacy, but they said: “The outbreak is currently limited to a distinct population and the risk to the general public is low . »

“The at-risk population in this epidemic faces significant barriers to care, including homelessness and housing insecurity, mental illness, substance use, and serious medical comorbidities,” the city’s statement said. .


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Health officials said the hotel in question was a single room and was not affiliated with any city program housing homeless people in local hotels and motels.

The city health department said it was contacting anyone staying at the hotel during the outbreak so they could be tested for the disease.

Dr. Anissa Davis, the city’s public health officer, declared the emergency in part because of the amount of work it will require.

“Testing and treating such a large number of people requires many resources,” the city said, and that is complicated by the fact that many of the people who may have been infected are hard to reach.

Tuberculosis is a treatable but serious lung infection that can spread through the air through coughing or sneezing. According to the Ministry of Health, it does not spread as easily as COVID-19, but this outbreak is occurring in a population that is particularly susceptible to it.

The homeless, people who use drugs and people living with HIV are all at higher risk, according to health authorities.

The Long Beach Department of Health says it is handling treatment for anyone who contracted tuberculosis during this outbreak, including providing them with housing and food.

The disease “requires months of multiple treatment, and medications are administered under direct observation” of medical staff, the city said in a statement.

News Source : lbpost.com
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