Grant County investigates possible tuberculosis cases

GRANT COUNTY, Wash. --- The Grant County Health District is investigating after finding a resident there might have an active case of tuberculosis.

The patient was treated at several healthcare facilities in Grant County during the course of the illness, according to GCHD.

The health department’s investigation has found about 200 people may have had contact with this person, though no further cases have been identified as of Monday. Officials said those people have been notified already, and live in Grant, Lincoln and Adams counties.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that usually affects the lungs, but can attack any part of the body, including kidneys, spine and brain.

It is spread, according to health experts, when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes, expelling tiny particles into the air.

If another person inhales those particles, the bacteria may get into their lungs and infect them. TB is not spread by shaking hands, sharing food and drinks, touching bed linens or toilet seats, sharing toothbrushes or kissing, according to GCHD.

The symptoms of TB are as follows:

Cough for more than three weeks

Fever, night sweats

Unintentional weight loss, loss of appetite

Fatigue chest pain

Blood in the sputum

GCHD said anyone who has symptoms of TB and thinks they may have been exposed is encouraged to talk with their healthcare provider or call GCHD and speak with a nurse at (509) 766-7960. There are two types of tests you can get done – a blood test and a skin test – to determine if you have TB. If you test positive, you will likely need to be separated from other people until you can’t spread the germs. TB is treatable, but requires prescription medication.

GCHD did not say where the patient who might have TB was treated. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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