Two Unrelated Tuberculosis Cases Reported at County Detention Facilities

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The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency is working with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to notify individuals who were possibly exposed to tuberculosis by two unrelated cases. The periods of potential exposures are as follows:

  • July 5 to July 13 at the Vista Detention Facility
  • July 9 and July 10 at the North County Court Services
  • July 18, July 19 and July 26 to August 3 at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility

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.

“Testing is recommended for people who were exposed to assure they are not infected, since initial infection usually has no symptoms,” said Wilma 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.”

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 and 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.

Testing will be offered by County Public Health Services at no cost to individuals who potentially have been exposed.

The number of annual TB cases in San Diego County has decreased since the early 1990s and has stabilized in recent years. There were 258 cases reported in 2016 and 237 in 2017. To date, 107 cases have been reported in 2018.

Individuals who would like more information on this potential exposure are asked to call the San Diego County TB Control Program (619) 692-8621 or the Sheriff’s Department Infection Control at (858) 974-5971.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact