-- Just something to be aware of and prepared for just in case, because TB stories are popping up more and more with frequency.
"According to the Post, the coverup began as early as last February, “when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.”
"As a result, patients once deemed too sick for contact with the public were released into the community and others newly diagnosed with the disease, mostly from the homeless population, are being put up in local motels in an effort to keep them on their medications.
"The high number of deaths in this outbreak emphasises the need for vigilant active case finding, improved education about TB, and ongoing screening at all sites with outbreak cases," states the report written by Robert Luo, a senior doctor with the CDC's epidemic intelligence service, and obtained by the Palm Beach Post following a public records request.
The CDC confirmed it was one of the worst outbreaks of TB anywhere in the United States for at least two decades.
Meanwhile, the Florida department of health expects to save up to $10m a year by closing AG Holley, which had treated patients with the most severe cases of the disease since 1950. The hospital discharged its last patients a week ago.
In a statement, the department defended the closure, insisting that patients in need of hospitalisation would receive adequate care at public hospitals in Miami and Jacksonville, which also agreed to take some of the most severe AG Holley cases."
"The number of active tuberculosis cases continues to climb in a northern Quebec community, where almost eight per cent of the population has been infected."
Public health officials said they were battling against a "particularly virulent" strain of the disease, described as the largest outbreak in the UK in recent times.