As many as 1,300 exposed to TB in San Diego

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency notified approximately 1,300 people on Thursday that they had possibly been exposed to tuberculosis at the downtown San Diego American Indian Health Center.

The initial case of tuberculosis was discovered on April 11. The presumed period of exposure was between Oct. 1 and April 1. No-cost testing has been set up for those were possibly exposed during the week of April 18 at the SDAIHC, Sign on San Diego reports.

“Over the decade we have had success reducing TB because of an aggressive public health approach," Dr. Eric McDonald, the deputy public health officer for the County of San Diego, said, according to Sign on San Diego. "We want to keep it that way. We want to pick up any possibility of anyone being exposed and prevent them from getting the full-blown disease.”

Most people exposed to the disease do not develop tuberculosis, though exposure can put them at higher risk for developing it. While the time delay between exposure and an active case of tuberculosis can be months to years, the highest risk is in the first year after exposure.

Some symptoms of active tuberculosis include fever, persistent cough, unexplained weight loss and night sweats. In 2010, there were 222 cases of tuberculosis reported in San Diego County. Thirty-six cases have been reported this year.