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Two TB cases confirmed in Cabell

May. 03, 2013 @ 01:20 PM

HUNTINGTON — The Cabell-Huntington Health Department is making contact with more than 100 people as they investigate two confirmed cases of tuberculosis.

The agency issued a health advisory Friday regarding both cases, which have been confirmed since late last week in the Huntington area. The ongoing investigation involves retracing the patients’ steps and making contact with anyone whom they had direct contact.

Agency spokeswoman Elizabeth Ayers said that has led to the testing of a little more than 100 people. They estimate the two infected patients might have exposed 150 people.

Federal privacy laws restrict the Health Department from releasing the patient’s identities and other specifics, however its press release said public health officials would be making contact with anyone who had been exposed.

Ayers described the additional tests, retracing and Friday’s press release all were precautionary steps and should not cause widespread concern.

The agency received six confirmed tuberculosis tests in 2012 and fewer confirmations the year before, Ayers said.

The Health Department’s release described tuberculosis as a bacteria disease that attacks the lung, but can also impact other parts of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain.

It is spread through the air, from person to person, when the infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. Symptoms include chest pain, coughing up blood, weakness, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever and night sweats.

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