Illinois county receives local grant to fight TB

The Kane County Board Public Health Committee in Illinois recently accepted a local grant from Cadence Health Systems for $50,000 to fight tuberculosis.

After an outbreak of TB at the Hesed House shelter in Aurora in 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control provided federal grants to fight the disease. The shelter registered 33 cases of TB between 2009 and early 2012, but with the situation improving, funding from the CDC has dropped, the Beacon News reports.

In 2011, the county received a $124,000 grant and in 2012, the CDC provided $194,000. The county was notified last year that it would not receive any CDC funding in 2013 because the outbreak was slowing.

The county still needed to treat patients and control the remnants of the outbreak and looked for alternate methods of funding.

"We (needed) to look at other funding streams," Barb Jeffers, the health department's interim director, said, according to the Beacon News.

In the past, the funding went toward the replacement of an outdated ventilation system at the Hesed House to limit the disease's ability to spread.

Jeffers said that the cost of the disease goes wider than simply the number of people infected.

"For every case that you find, you can expect two years of treatment," Jeffers said, according to the Beacon News.

Since most of the infected come from a transient, homeless population, it can be a challenge to monitor their medication. When patients stop taking the medication and regress, recovery can take much longer, the Beacon News reports.