ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The Missouri Department of Health is working to identify people who may have come into contact with someone suffering from drug resistant Tuberculosis. The rare form the disease is difficult to treat because it is resistant to TB medication.
Tuberculosis usually spreads through the air from person to person through coughs, sneezes or speaking. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has released this statement:
“Currently, the department is working with local and federal public health partners to identify and trace any contacts this patient may have had in Missouri.
The department can confirm no public transportation was utilized by this patient within the state of Missouri, and this patient’s travel within Missouri was conducted by private vehicle and was reported to be geographically limited to the St. Louis region. Local public health officials are working with three identified possible contacts by this patient in relation to this case.
Anyone who thinks they may have come in contact with someone exhibiting symptoms of tuberculosis should contact their health care provider and local public health department.”
The Tennessee Department of Health says people who may have been in contact with a woman with a rare and deadly form of tuberculosis will be tested.
In April, the woman traveled from India to the United States, arriving at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. She spent time in Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois before growing sick and being admitted to an isolation unit at a suburban Chicago hospital.
She is being cared for at a National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, where she’s in stable condition. The CDC did not release other details.
Tennessee Health Department spokesman Woody McMillin said in an email on Wednesday the department believes fewer than 10 people may have been exposed to the hard-to-treat strain of TB.
Officials have not identified specific locations or the path the woman took.
In most cases, TB is treatable and curable; however, people with TB can die if they do not get proper treatment. Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine.
More information about the disease from the CDC:
Tuberculosis information: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/
CDC Media Relations: http://www.cdc.gov/media/subtopic/contact.htm