- Category: Health
- Created on Sunday, 03 November 2013 19:50
San Diego, California - An individual recently diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) may have exposed a limited number of staff and hospitalized patients at Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reported.
“We believe the risk of infection with TB from this case is low,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “TB usually requires many hours of close, indoor contact to spread to others, so most people will not meet that threshold, but HHSA and hospital officials are working to determine the appropriate course of action for each individual.”
The period of exposure was believed to have occurred primarily between July 1 and October 20, 2013. Kaiser is exercising caution by including potentially exposed patients, staff and physicians back to January 1, 2013. Kaiser Permanente officials have identified all patients and employees who were potentially exposed and are working closely with HHSA to notify those patients and offer screening and treatment options.
In accordance with state and federal laws that protect patient confidentiality, no specific information about the individual with active TB will be released.
Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. When TB does occur, it can be treated and cured with medication. It is important to identify those who are infected to provide treatment before symptoms develop and to prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Tuberculosis is not uncommon in the San Diego region. There have been 130 cases reported to date in 2013. In 2012, 234 cases were reported in the county.
For more information about the potential exposure, Kaiser patients should call Kaiser Permanente at (800) 290-5000. For more information about TB, contact the County of San Diego TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.