free stats

California tuberculosis outbreak kills 1, infects 14 as officials declare health emergency

8

A deadly outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) has occurred inside a California hotel housing homeless people, leading to the death of one person and forcing city health officials to declare a public health emergency.

The alarming outbreak at the unnamed hotel infected 14 people, resulting in nine people being hospitalized, the Department of Health and Human Services for Long Beach announced Thursday. The identity of the deceased individual has not been released. 

“The outbreak is currently isolated to a distinct population and the risk to the general public is low,” city officials announced.

VACCINATING MIGRANTS LIKE US CHILDREN WOULD HAVE PREVENTED DISEASE OUTBREAKS AT CHICAGO SHELTERS: EXPERTS

Tuberculosis

Doctor looks at X-rays from a tuberculosis patient. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“The population at risk in this outbreak has significant barriers to care including homelessness and housing insecurity, mental illness, substance use and serious medical comorbidities.”

Officials say the health emergency was announced to strengthen the city’s preparedness and ability to respond to the outbreak. 

Around 170 people have likely been exposed to TB and the Health Department is in the process of screening contacts for TB via symptom review, blood or skin tests and chest X-rays.

TUBERCULOSIS BREAKS OUT AT CHICAGO MIGRANT SHELTERS FOLLOWING MEASLES CASES

The Health Department says it expects the number of cases and contacts to increase and those found to have active TB disease or latent TB infection will be provided treatment. 

Tuberculosis bacteria

This 2006 electron microscope image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which causes the disease tuberculosis.  (Janice Carr/CDC/AP)

Health officials say the name of the hotel is not being released in order to protect patient privacy and comply with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. The facility is a private hotel not operated by or contracted with the City of Long Beach.

Tuberculosis is transmitted in airborne particles and typically affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. It is not as contagious as COVID.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

“You can catch tuberculosis if someone is coughing or sneezing or in close contact, the bacteria from those particles gets into the air and anybody nearby will breathe that in — and that’s how they pick it up and that’s how they catch it,” Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, a New York City-based double board-certified doctor, told Fox News Digital recently.

Tuberculosis under a microscope and a Chicago migrant shelter

Tuberculosis under a microscope and a Chicago migrant shelter. Chicago health officials last month announced that a “small number” of tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported at some migrant facilities in the city. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images, right, NIH/NAID/IMAGE.FR/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, top left, BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, bottom left.)

The TB outbreak comes after the number of U.S. tuberculosis cases in 2023 were the highest in a decade, according to the CDC.

Cases increased from 8,320 in 2022 to 9,615 in 2023, an increase of 1,295 cases with numbers going up among all age groups. Data from the agency shows nearly 10,000 infections in 2013.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Chicago health officials last month announced that a “small number” of tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported at some migrant facilities in the city.

Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report. 

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health.

Source

Comments are closed.