Tuberculosis safety

Tuberculosis has been in the news recently after a woman from India traveling with a rare strain of the disease passed through a number of states including Illinois.

Illinois health officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and prevention to find people who may have been in direct contact with the woman.
But, if you’re concerned about your own health, doctors say your risk level is extremely low.

“It’s unlikely that a resident of DuPage County would be exposed to TB unless there’s a close contact with a family member who has TB, so it’s very low risk. The primary care physician can do certain tests to check if there is exposure,” said Jonathan Pinsky, Director of Infection Control at Edward Hospital.

You may want to get checked if you have symptoms including chronic coughing that lasts for more than a month, weight loss, fever and sweats. Those more susceptible include people with compromised or weak immune systems, such as the elderly, or those with HIV.

There’s also a higher risk of contracting the disease if you have lived in or traveled to countries with higher rates of tuberculosis.

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