SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

South Carolina issues update on Greenwood County TB investigation

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control issued an update on Friday after re-testing citizens of Greenwood County out of an abundance of caution during its ongoing tuberculosis investigation.

The health department conducted the tests on August 10 pursuant to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols. There were no additional cases of infectious tuberculosis identified during the testing process.

On March 8, the health department received notification of a positive TB test obtained from a patient in Greenwood County. The 71-year-old man's test suggested pulmonary TB infection. The patient worked as a custodian at an elementary school.

The DHEC tuberculosis program instructed the patient not to return to work pending additional evaluation. The DHEC conducted a contact investigation and identified 13 additional TB cases, including one infectious TB case in a person who worked at the same school and 10 extrapulmonary TB cases in children who attended the school.

The DHEC notified every medically indicated individual in a timely and safe manner. The school board decided not to notify the parents of school families until the DHEC director insisted upon it in May.

During the most recent round of tuberculin skin tests, there were 391 tests placed with one adult testing positive. The adult's x-ray came back negative for infectious TB.

The DHEC said that two TB cases announced in May are no longer infectious.