Riverside County resident tests positive for tuberculosis; 150 people may have been exposed

A Riverside County resident has tested positive for tuberculosis, the county’s Public Health Department announced Monday.

That person is currently undergoing treatment and is expected to recover.

Public health officials have contacted members of the public who may have come in contact with this person, who could have been exposed between Sept. 5 and Oct. 16.

The individual is affiliated with California Baptist University in Riverside and is believed to have come in close contact with about 150 people at the school, which has more than 15,000 faculty, students and staff.

Those who may have been exposed will be receiving an electronic notice from the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

Tuberculosis is spread through “prolonged, repeated and close contact with someone who is infected,” health officials said. Symptoms can include a persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss.

Most people infected with TB often experience a latent infection, that does not progress to active status. Latent infections do not result in symptoms and cannot be transmitted from person-to-person, health officials say.

More than 8,300 cases of TB were reported in the United States in 2022.

It’s currently undetermined where the infected person contracted the disease and a contact investigation is ongoing.

Testing for TB is currently only recommended for those identified as having potential exposures.

“While the risk of infection is low, it is recommended that individuals who receive the exposure notification letter be tested,” said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, public health officer for Riverside County.

Leung said the testing is quick and easy and results become available in about two days.

Testing options include a skin test, which could also lead to a chest X-ray or a blood test.

For more information about tuberculosis, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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