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Tuberculosis outbreak brings the CDC to First Coast

6:32 PM, Jul 9, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County is dealing with tuberculosis numbers not seen in other parts of the country, with the Centers for Disease Control saying it is one of most extensive outbreaks in the past twenty years.

The CDC got the call from the local and state health departments in February after TB numbers in the city spiked again last year with 30 confirmed cases of a relatively new strain.

Dr. Bob Harmon with the Duval Health Department says the TB strain called Florida 046 surfaced in 2008 and then reappeared last year and impacted the high-risk homeless population.

The CDC reviewed records from 2004 to 2012, finding there were 99 confirmed cases and 13 deaths.

"This strain (Florida 046) is one of the biggest in the country or in Florida. That's why the attention is being focused on it," said Harmon.

The CDC continues to work with the local health department in developing better ways to detect and combat tuberculosis.

Last year in the city, there were 71 active cases. So far, the number stands at 27, according to the health department.

Tuberculosis is a lung disease, with symptoms being a cough, sweating and massive weight loss.

First Coast News

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