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Thousands May Have Been Exposed To Deadly TB Epidemic Downtown

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CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The feds are descending on downtown Los Angeles to combat a dangerous outbreak of a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis.

KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen went downtown in search of people who may have been exposed.

John Williams started living at the Weingart shelter on LA’s Skid Row two weeks ago. Before he could be admitted, he had to undergo a screening for tuberculosis.

“They make you go get checked before you get into one of these programs because they don’t want it spread out in there,” Williams said.

With nearly 80 cases of tuberculosis being identified in LA County since 2007 — thirty of which have been on Skid Row — tuberculosis screenings are more important than ever for some.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a coordinated effort to contain the area’s largest outbreak in a decade.

“We are really putting our resources into this,” said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Anthony Stallworth, who pastors Central City Community Church of the Nazarene on East 6th Street, also volunteers at the LA Mission.

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