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Southern California City Detects Localized Tuberculosis Outbreak
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 weeks ago on
May 3, 2024

A localized tuberculosis outbreak in Long Beach prompts a health emergency declaration, with the risk to the general public remaining low. (Shutterstock)

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LONG BEACH — A localized tuberculosis outbreak has led a Southern California city to declare a health emergency, although officials say the risk to the general public is low.

Health Emergency Declaration

The Long Beach city health officer issued the declaration Thursday to increase resources for tracking, screening and treating people who have been exposed in the outbreak linked to a single-room occupancy hotel, the city health department said.

As of April 29, there were 14 cases. One person has died, nine have been hospitalized at some point and about 170 people have been identified as likely to have been exposed.

“The outbreak is currently isolated to a distinct population and the risk to the general public is low,” the department said. “The population at risk in this outbreak has significant barriers to care including homelessness and housing insecurity, mental illness, substance use and serious medical comorbidities.”

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that usually attack the lungs, and it is spread through the air when an infectious person coughs or sneezes.

US Tuberculosis Cases on the Rise

The number of U.S. tuberculosis cases in 2023 was the highest in a decade, according to a report last month by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In California, there were 2,113 new cases in 2023, an increase of 15% over 2022, according to the state Department of Public Health.

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