A person at Southwestern College has tested positive for tuberculosis and may have exposed others to the disease, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Tuesday.
The agency is working with the college to notify people who were possible exposed to TB. The period of possible exposure is from last Sept. 10 through Feb. 21, according to the HHSA.
Tuberculosis is transmitted from person to person through indoor air during prolonged contact with an infectious person. Most people who are exposed do not become infected.
“We are recommending that all the identified people get tested to make sure they are not infected,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can prevent the infectious form of the disease.”
The HHSA and college are reaching out to students and other members of the public who possibly interacted with the positive-testing individual. They can go to the college’s Student Health Services Student Center, Room 601F, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Affected college employees will be tested separately by Occupational Health.
The infected person was not publicly identified, nor did officials specify whether it was a student or staffer.
Symptoms of active tuberculosis include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. Tuberculosis can be treated and cured with medication. People who have TB symptoms or are immuno-compromised are encouraged to see their medical health care provider to rule out TB.
Tuberculosis is not uncommon in the San Diego region but has been decreasing since the early 1990s and has stabilized in recent years. In 2013, 206 cases were reported in the county, the lowest number since local TB cases peaked at 469 in 1993. There were 237 cases reported in 2017 and 226 in 2018. Last year, 265 local residents were diagnosed with TB.
— City News Service
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