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Old 06-06-2005, 04:15 PM
1dayatatime 1dayatatime is offline
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Default Article: TB found in test at Gibson Co. Jail

TB found in test at Gibson Co. Jail
Jackson Sun

About a dozen inmates at the Gibson County (Tenn.) Jail have had to be quarantined after one tested positive for tuberculosis.
No one is being allowed in or out of the cell where the inmate who tested positive is being held, Gibson County Sheriff Joe Shepard said last Wednesday. Authorities are awaiting the results of a chest X-ray to determine if the inmate really has the disease, Shepard said.
''It's not confirmed he has TB,'' Shepard said. ''There's some people that will test positive for TB even though they don't have it.''
Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterial infection, according to Dr. Shavetta Conner, the medical director for health departments in West Tennessee. It is ''fairly contagious'' and is spread through ''respiratory droplets'' such as through coughing, Conner said.
Symptoms include coughing, night sweats, weight loss and ''just generally feeling bad,'' Conner said. The disease is treated with antibiotics specifically geared toward tuberculosis, she added.
Tuberculosis could kill a person untreated for the disease, but death is rare with the antibodies available today, Conner said.
There are high-risk populations; rates are higher in some foreign-born individuals and in jails and prisons, where people are kept in confinement, Conner said.
Many times, jails and prisons do routine skin tests for TB, she added.
Quarantines are actually not unusual at the Gibson County Jail, Shepard said. Many times an inmate will test positive but not have the disease, he added.
''We're just taking safety precautions in case it is (tuberculosis),'' he added.
All new inmates must get a physical and have tests for TB, Shepard said. They learned about 1 p.m. Tuesday of the inmate who had tested positive for the illness, he said.
Shepard said last Wednesday that jailers and those quarantined with the person who tested positive would not be tested unless it was determined that the person suspected of the disease really has it.
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