Florida County hit by TB outbreak among homeless

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported a major increase in the tuberculosis rate among the homeless in the Jacksonville, Florida, area.

The CDC said there has been a 16 percent increase in TB cases among the homeless in Jacksonville's Duval County over the past year, making it the county with largest TB outbreak in the United States, according to Jacksonville.com.

The Duval County Health Department concurred with the CDC's findings in an unreleased report. In 2011, 67 of Florida's 85 confirmed TB cases were in Duval County. This year, there have been 10 confirmed TB cases in Duval County, another three that are considered probable and four that are "suspected."

The county's health department recently announced that it intends to unveil a new plan aimed at reversing the spread of TB. The department and the Bureau of Tuberculosis reportedly asked for help from the CDC in February.

Charles Griggs, a spokesman for the Duval Health Department, said no new reports on the state of TB in the county or the county's plans should have been released since they are still considered preliminary. He said the health department would address the TB outbreak in detail as soon as possible, Jacksonville.com reports.