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The Epoch TimesEmergency Declared on Tuberculosis in California City: What to Look For

Emerging Tuberculosis Crisis in Long Beach: A Close Look at an Urban Outbreak

In response to a rising outbreak of tuberculosis in Long Beach, California, city health officials have declared a health emergency, prompting increased efforts in tracking, screening, and treatment. The outbreak, primarily concentrated around a single room occupancy hotel, has already resulted in one death and multiple hospitalizations, underlining the need for heightened vigilance and proactive management in susceptible urban populations.

Key Points:

  • Outbreak Overview: The Long Beach health officer declared a health emergency on May 2 due to a tuberculosis outbreak at a local hotel, with 14 confirmed cases, one fatality, and more than 170 potentially exposed individuals.
  • Targeted Population: The outbreak affects individuals with significant barriers to healthcare, including homelessness, mental illness, substance use, and other severe medical conditions.
  • Public Health Response: Enhanced measures include contact tracing, widespread screening, and immediate treatment interventions to contain the outbreak and prevent further transmission.
  • Disease Transmission and Symptoms: Tuberculosis spreads via airborne particles from coughs or sneezes; symptoms include prolonged cough, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Latent cases remain non-symptomatic but can become infectious over time.
  • Statewide Concerns: California experienced a 15% increase in tuberculosis cases in 2023 compared to the previous year, prompting statewide health advisories to healthcare providers regarding potential diagnoses and treatment strategies.
  • Risk Factors: Elevated risks are noted among individuals with previous exposure to high-incidence regions, compromised immune systems, or living conditions like shelters or correctional facilities.
  • Preventive Strategies: Authorities stress the importance of early diagnosis and treatment to manage the disease effectively and halt its progression from latent to active stages.

Globally, tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death, and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS. In 2019, there were an estimated 10 million new tuberculosis cases worldwide.

More on TB

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