Man with TB infects 29 in Carroll and Pa.

July 30, 1995|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer

A Carroll County man who had active tuberculosis in February infected 12 Pennsylvania residents in addition to the 17 people he infected in Carroll, according to health officials in both states.

Three of the Pennsylvania residents developed active cases of tuberculosis, said Robert Walter, community health nurse supervisor for York and Adams counties.

Carroll and Pennsylvania health officials have tested 255 people who were exposed to the man. He was diagnosed with infectious tuberculosis during a routine health screening at the Carroll County Detention Center in February.

After his release from the jail Feb. 23, he violated state home quarantine regulations. The man later voluntarily committed himself to a medical facility and was released after he no longer was contagious, Carroll health officials said.

"This individual was active in both states; in and out of employment settings, in and out of family circles," Mr. Walter said. "He was highly infectious and exposed quite a few people."

Tuberculosis is a disease of the lungs that is spread through the air, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Health officials in both counties continue to retest individuals who originally had negative skin tests for tuberculosis.

A positive test indicates a person has been infected with the tuberculosis organism, but does not mean the person is contagious or has active tuberculosis.

The three people in Pennsylvania who developed tuberculosis had abnormal chest X-rays and displayed symptoms such as coughing, fever and weight loss, Mr. Walter said.

rTC They were placed on six-month treatment plans, he said.

All 12 of the Pennsylvanians who tested positive for tuberculosis received preventive medication to ward off the disease.

In Carroll, 10 of the 12 who tested positive during the first round of testing were treated with preventive drugs.

During a second round of testing, medical staff at the Carroll County Detention Center identified five people at the jail who had positive skin tests for the disease. Those individuals have been placed on preventive medication, said Dr. Janet Neslen, the county health officer.

Pennsylvania health officials are retesting some of the 37 people who originally tested negative for tuberculosis. The need for a second test is determined by when the person was last exposed to the infected man, officials said.

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