Fla. surgeon general: Community not at risk for TB

John Armstrong, the Florida Department of Health's surgeon general, said during a meeting at the Florida Times-Union with multiple health officials that the community is not at risk for tuberculosis.

The visit by Armstrong and other health officials was the result of a story that ran last week in the Palm Beach Post. The story alleged that the Duval County Department of Health and the Florida Department of Health did not tell the public about a rise in the number of TB patients with a certain strain among the homeless population of Jacksonville, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Also attending the meeting were Charles Griggs, the public information office for the Duval County Health Department, Bob Harmon, the director of the Duval County Health Department, and Aaron Hilliard, the Duval County assistant director of public health programs.

Hilliard said that the Duval County Health Department will attempt to test the entire homeless population for TB in the county with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state's health department, according to the Florida Times-Union.

In 2012, Florida has experienced 39 cases of TB. Thirteen of the cases have been the FL-0046 strain that was found clustered among the homeless. In 2011, there were 71 cases of the disease in Duval County.