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Health Official: Angelenos Not At Risk To Downtown TB Outbreak

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The feds are screening people who may have been exposed to a drug-resistant tuberculosis. (credit: CBS)

The feds are screening people who may have been exposed to a drug-resistant tuberculosis. (credit: CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)— Angelenos are not in danger in the wake of a tuberculosis outbreak on Skid Row, according to the county’s top health official.

“The public is not at risk,” Dr. Jonathan Fielding told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Fielding, the head of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said that “frequent and close contact” with someone with tuberculosis is necessary to contract the disease, and the outbreak is “unusual but a not particularly virulent strain.”

Since 2007, 11 people have died from the bacterial disease and 78 people have been diagnosed with the illness.

According to Fielding, 60 of the people who were diagnosed are homeless and a quarter of those same people are HIV-positive.

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Thousands May Have Been Exposed To Deadly TB Epidemic Downtown

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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