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California declares public health emergency as tuberculosis outbreak kills 1, infects 13 others

A major health alert has been issued for the residents of California after the western US State reported tuberculosis outbreak that has claimed one life and left nine others hospitalised.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that tuberculosis is a dangerous disease that typically affects the lungs.

The investigators have confirmed about 14 instances of tuberculosis as of Monday. They have also identified 170 other people who may have been exposed to the disease. They all are under process of being screened, Daily Mail reported.

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The outbreak, according to health officials, was restricted to visitors staying at a Long Beach hotel with just one room. The city’s health authority has declined to reveal the name of the establishment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that tuberculosis is a dangerous disease that typically affects the lungs. The infection, which is spread by patients’ coughs and sneezes, kills around 1.6million people worldwide every year.

Also Read: Listeria Outbreak: California dairy company has recalls these products after CDC guidelines

California prepares for surge in tuberculosis cases

Meanwhile, City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis announced a local public health emergency on Thursday in an attempt to strengthen the city’s preparation and ability to respond to the outbreak, which is currently limited to a “distinct population” of individuals.

According to the medics, they are expecting a surge in tuberculosis cases. In view of this, the city said that “those who are found to have active TB disease or latent TB infection will be provided treatment.”

The health department will arrange temporary housing, food, and transportation for the infected persons. It will also cover expenses of tuberculosis treatment.

While no cases have been reported in neighboring Los Angeles County, a representative for the county’s health disease control bureau stated that the bureau plans to “assist Long Beach” with the outbreak, as reported by the LA Times.

A look at tuberculosis cases in US

According to a CDC report, the US witnessed the highest number of tuberculosis cases in 2023, with an infection surge reported in 40 states.

Last year, authorities reported more than 9,600 cases of tuberculosis, a 16% rise from 2022 and the largest number since 2013.

At the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, cases were said to have dropped significantly, but according to officials, they have been increasing ever since.

Cases in California surged by 15% in 2023 as compared to the previous year as 2,113 people were infected with tuberculosis.

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