MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — Riverside County health officials worked Friday to contact all the people who may have come into contact with a Murrieta hospital patient diagnosed with active tuberculosis.
According to the Department of Public Health, the TB patient is undergoing treatment at Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta, where he was first diagnosed.
Officers did not disclose how the Riverside County resident, whose identity was not released, may have acquired the disease.
Hospital CEO Rick Rawson said the facility’s “state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtering system” helped limit any exposure that staff, other patients or visitors may have had to the illness.
Employees who encountered the patient have been screened for TB and none have tested positive, Rawson said.
Health officials are in the process of tracking down others who may have been exposed.
“TB testing is being recommended as a precautionary measure.” said county Public Health Officer Cameron Kaiser. “It only takes a short time but will provide peace of mind.”
TB screenings begins with a quick skin test. If that is positive, the person is asked to take a chest X-ray to confirm infection.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tuberculosis is spread through coughing, sneezing, singing or speaking. Infection generally requires prolonged or repeated exposure to the TB patient. People cannot be infected through hand-shaking, kissing or handling bedding and toilet seats, according to the CDC.
Health officials noted that some people can be infected with TB without manifesting symptoms, which include fever, coughing, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and chest pain. Those with inactive TB are typically not infectious.
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