Health

Tuberculosis Case Reported at Metropolitan Correctional Center San Diego

An arm with a TB test Image Credit: CDC

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency is working with Metropolitan Correctional Center San Diego, Federal Bureau of Prisons officials to notify individuals who were possibly exposed to tuberculosis. The period of potential exposure is from April 28, 2021 to September 22, 2021.

MCC San Diego is offering free testing for all identified detainees and Bureau of Prisons staff. HHSA’s TB Control Program is testing, at no-cost, all identified people who have been released and do not have a medical provider.

“Testing is recommended for people who were exposed to assure they are not infected, since initial infection usually has no symptoms,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “For any infected individuals, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can prevent the infectious form of the disease.”

A negative result usually indicates that the person is not infected with the TB bacteria.  However, it may take 8 to 10 weeks after exposure for a test to be positive. Individuals exposed at MCC San Diego, with a negative test result during the month of October 2021, will require a follow-up TB test on or after November 22, 2021.

Tuberculosis is transmitted from person to person through indoor air during prolonged contact with an infectious individual. Most people who are exposed do not become infected.

Symptoms of active tuberculosis include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. For individuals with symptoms of tuberculosis, or those with compromised immune systems who may not show symptoms, it is important that the person sees their medical provider to rule out tuberculosis. Tuberculosis can be treated and cured with antibiotics.

Individuals who would like more information on this potential exposure are asked to call the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.

TB is not uncommon in the San Diego region, but has been decreasing since the early 1990s and has stabilized in recent years.  In 2020, 192 cases were reported in San Diego County.

Learn more about TB and how to treat it by watching the below testimonial from a tuberculosis survivor.

Katie Cadiao is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact