There have been 16 cases of tuberculosis (TB) reported in the Central Night Shelter, Atlanta Union Mission and Task Force for the Homeless, according to the Associated Press. Fulton County health officials are currently investigating.
Fulton Health and Wellness’s news release states the people who have been reported with TB have been relocated to the shelters.
“We are working cooperatively with the management of the shelters and are notifying staff and residents of the situation. They are being provided with educational materials about tuberculosis and are receiving instructions on how to recognize signs and symptoms,” the news release states.
Matthew McKenna, Medical Director of the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, said there is a low chance for students at Georgia State to obtain TB.
“…In general, avoiding situations where this is likely to happen such as clinics, hospitals, prisons or homeless shelters is the most straightforward way to avoid acquiring TB,” McKenna said. “In general, we know that the students and staff at Georgia State University are at low risk of contracting this infection, and incidental contact with homeless persons is not a risk factor for the infection or disease.”
TB is a bacteria affecting he lungs, kidney and spine. This also includes the brain, as stated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The disease can be transmitted by air and contracted when a person with the disease sneezes, coughs or speaks.
After screenings and the investigation is finished, the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness will release an updated report.