Omaha On Alert For Other Tuberculosis Cases
The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) recently announced one confirmed active tuberculosis disease (TB) case at Westview YMCA, located near 156th and Ida Streets in the Bennington area in Omaha, Nebraska.
As of November 9, 2023, DCHD confirmed it is investigating more than 500 possible TB exposures that may have happened at the YMCA daycare. Those potential TB exposures could have occurred from late spring into late October 2023.
Children’s Nebraska has planned clinics to test children four years of age and under who were potentially exposed in the last ten weeks.
DCHD will hold clinics at Westview YMCA on November 15-17, 2023, to test anyone identified as exposed from late May until August 21, 2023.
County Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse, MPH, DNP, RN, said in the news release that testing for TB is recommended only for those who had close contact on one or more occasions.
TB cases are relatively rare in Nebraska.
However, Douglas County confirmed 15 TB cases through September 2023 and had 15 confirmed cases in 2022.
Tuberculosis cases in the United States increased about 5% last year, led by California and Texas.
According to the U.S. CDC, TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any body part, such as the kidney, spine, and brain.
Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal, says the CDC.
While TB infections can be cured, it is also a vaccine-preventable disease.
Versions of the BCG vaccine have been used throughout the world for about 100 years.