An individual at Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center was diagnosed with tuberculosis and might have exposed a small number of staff and patients to the disease, the county of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency reported today.
The potential exposure was between July 1 and Oct. 20, according to the county.
"We believe the risk of infection with TB from this case is low," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "TB usually requires many hours of close, indoor contact to spread to others, so most people will not meet that threshold, but HHSA and hospital officials are working to determine the appropriate course of action for each individual."
Information about the carrier was not released because of patient privacy concerns.
Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. When TB does occur, it can be treated and cured with medication.
The county said it is important to identify those who are infected to provide treatment before symptoms develop and to prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Kaiser Permanente officials said they have identified all patients and employees who were potentially exposed and are working with HHSA to notify them and offer screening and treatment options.
So far this year, 130 TB cases have been reported to the county. In all of last year, there were 234 cases, the HHSA said.
-- City News Service