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California Declares Public Health Emergency Amid Tuberculosis Outbreak

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California Declares Public Health Emergency Amid Tuberculosis Outbreak

California Declares Public Health Emergency Amid Tuberculosis Outbreak

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Diseases are scary, especially when they can easily cause death and spread rapidly. This is precisely why health officials in Long Beach, California, declared a public health emergency following an outbreak of Tuberculosis. Reports claim the outbreak has infected at least 14 people, with one confirmed fatality, and nine have been hospitalized.

Ground Zero for the outbreak has been identified as a hotel where homeless people have taken refuge. However, the exact location remains hidden because of concerns about patient privacy

The Emergency was Declared on Thursday

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Health officials declared a public health emergency on Thursday, May 2, 2024. The purpose of the declaration is not to cause panic but to prepare the city to respond to any localized Tuberculosis outbreak. According to a statement by the city’s government, it will be considered for ratification by the city council on Tuesday, May 7.

Details of the Outbreak

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Tuberculosis is an airborne disease, and those infected reportedly came from a Long Beach single-room occupancy (SRO) Hotel where they were in close proximity to an infected. As of April 29, there were 14 confirmed cases of the disease.

Why the Location was Withheld

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Hearing that there was a tuberculosis outbreak in a particular area will naturally make people curious and apprehensive in equal measure. Officials have chosen not to expose the actual location of the hotel where the outbreak happened to protect patient privacy and comply with HIPAA regulations.

What You Need To Know About Tuberculosis

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial disease that targets the lungs upon infection. It can be debilitating if there is no access to proper antibiotics. The mode of propagation is via air droplets, and it can be especially fatal for someone with a compromised immune system.

The Government is Convinced There is no Threat to the Public

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In a statement released by Long Beach authorities, the outbreak is being contained, and there is barely any threat to the general public because all cases have been isolated.

Who is at Risk?

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The general public is indeed at little risk of being exposed to Tuberculosis. However, the same can not be said for the distinct numbers of Homeless people. Such people are at higher risk because of their unique circumstances; unlike the general populace, they may not have access to treatment, which will allow the disease to spread unchecked.

How Easy is it To Catch Tuberculosis?

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Too easy. You can get infected by being in close proximity with someone who has it and has developed symptoms. If an infected person coughs or sneezes, they discharge small droplets containing the bacteria, which can leave you infected the moment you inhale them

How Easy is it To Catch Tuberculosis?

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Too easy. You can get infected by being in close proximity with someone who has it and has developed symptoms. If an infected person coughs or sneezes, they discharge small droplets containing the bacteria, which can leave you infected the moment you inhale them

Mode of Propagation

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For tuberculosis to spread effectively, one must have an active infection and symptoms like coughing and sneezing. It can also be spread via activities like singing. While it is an airborne disease, it is not as quickly spread as its counterparts, including the common cold, the flu, or the dreaded COVID-19.

Tuberculosis and California Have a History

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Health experts believe California has a Tuberculosis problem as cases have become too frequent. According to the experts, the reason behind this is that the bacteria known to cause it, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, can escape detection for years without symptoms. As such, people in big cities who coexist with homeless people are more susceptible.

If you think you're Exposed

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If you are unsure about your exposure to the disease, it is advised that you get tested. Rather than wait to fall sick, putting those around you at risk of infection, it is best to see your doctor and take the necessary steps. After all, prevention is far better than cure.