California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) students and staff may have been exposed to tuberculosis (TB) during this fall 2022 session, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced today.
HHSA Public Health Services and CSUSM officials worked closely to identify and notify those at higher risk of tuberculosis and will offer free testing to those at increased risk of infection. The exposure time is from August 30, 2022 to November 8, 2022.
Tuberculosis is an airborne disease transmitted from person to person by breathing in airborne bacteria that are spread when a person with tuberculosis coughs, talks, sings, or breathes. People who have frequent and long-term indoor contact with a person who has tuberculosis should be tested.
“Symptoms of active tuberculosis include persistent cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss,” said Wilma J. Wooten, MD, MPH, county health officer. “Most people who become infected after contracting tuberculosis do not get sick straight away. Some who contract tuberculosis will become ill at some point in the future, sometimes even years later. Blood tests and skin tests are effective in determining if someone has been infected. Anyone who is notified of a high risk of exposure is advised to get tested free of charge.”
Effective treatments are available to cure people with active tuberculosis. It’s especially important for people with symptoms of active tuberculosis and those with a weakened immune system to see their doctor to rule out active tuberculosis and discuss treatment.
People who have tested positive for TB but have no symptoms of active TB should have a chest X-ray and speak to a doctor as they most likely have “latent TB infection” or LTBI. People with latent TB infection are infected with the TB germs, but the infection is essentially dormant or dormant. Taking medication for latent TB infection can prevent people with LTBI from getting sick in the future.
Individuals who would like more information on this potential exposure should contact:
The number of annual TB cases in San Diego County has been declining since the early 1990s and has stabilized in recent years.
201 cases were reported in 2021 and 192 cases in 2020. A total of 150 cases had been reported by the end of October this year. An estimated 175,000 people in San Diego County have latent TB infection and are at risk of developing active TB without preventive treatment.