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New tuberculosis case reported in Duval County

3:40 PM, Sep 28, 2012   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Health officials have found another person with an active case of tuberculosis resulting from the TB outbreak in Duval County.

Dr. Dennis Cookro of the Florida Health Department says three patients have now been diagnosed with active TB since July 12. Another 368 people have tested positive for the TB germ.

Dr. Cookro says they are not sick or contagious, but are getting treatment so they don't develop the illness.

Health officials have tested nearly 3,000 people for TB infection in Duval County, mainly among those in the area's homeless population. Twelve percent have latent TB.

Dr. Cookro says that means they tested positive for the disease but are not sick or contagious.

He says the TB outbreak is under control and Duval County residents should not be concerned.

"I think the folks in Duval County don't need to be concerned about being infected with TB at this point. I would hope they would be concerned about, and I know they are, with the homeless population and how we work with the homeless population to make sure that not only they are safe from disease but the rest of the population is also safe from the disease."

This week, Duval County Health Department Director Robert Harmon resigned suddenly. The department had faced criticism over keeping secret several TB outbreaks in recent years.

Now the Volusia County Health Department Director will temporarily lead Duval County's Health Department. Dr. Cookro believes the change in leadership won't impact the effort to eliminate TB cases.

"I think what we've put in place there, especially in regard to TB, is a significant effort with really good leadership. So I think that will continue at this point."

First Coast News

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