Douglas County prepares to declare health emergency as tuberculosis cases confirmed

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – The Douglas County Health Department announced it is declaring a health emergency after a local tuberculosis case is linked to a YMCA daycare.

DCHD announced Thursday that one case of tuberculosis has been confirmed and officials are working to determine whether any of the 500 potential cases caused additional cases. The health department said it notified parents via email Wednesday about the possible infection at the Westview YMCA daycare.

“Due to the potential risk to the public and risk of spread of the disease, a formal declaration of a public health emergency will be announced soon,” a DCHD spokesperson said in an email Thursday.

If you want to go

The health department also plans to hold a parent information session Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Westview YMCA.

These exposures may have occurred at the Westview YMCA nursery between late spring and late October, according to the release.

“The Douglas County Health Department examines the patient’s behavior while contagious to determine the likelihood of infection, assists in isolating the patient, and monitors the patient as they complete their medications until they test negative for tuberculosis.” ”, the release states. “DCHD is also working to notify the child’s parents and others who have had close contact with the patient. Tuberculosis testing is only recommended for those who have had one or more close contacts.”

The tuberculosis vaccine is not widely used in the United States, but it is commonly given to infants and young children in countries where tuberculosis is endemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How to get tested

Children’s Nebraska will be offering a testing clinic this weekend for children 4 and under who may have been infected with tuberculosis within the past 10 weeks. In addition, DCHD will hold a clinic next week from November 15th to 17th on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at the Westview YMCA for children who may have been infected between late May and August 21. .

What you need to know about tuberculosis

The health department stressed that tuberculosis is treatable and cases are “relatively rare.”

“Close contact with tuberculosis means spending one or more extended periods of time with a contagious person who spreads the bacteria through coughing. This includes being in the same room as them, but also in the cafeteria, “It does not include brief exposures in areas such as hallways, restrooms, and gymnasiums,” a DCHD news release said.

DCHD is also familiar with tuberculosis treatments, noting that the county had 15 confirmed cases in 2022 and 15 this year through Sept. 30. The CDC has reported more than 8,000 cases in the United States this year.

Symptoms of tuberculosis include:

  • Cough that lasts for several weeks
  • chest pain
  • Cough that produces blood or sputum
  • Feeling of weakness and fatigue
  • weight loss
  • I have no appetite
  • chills and fever
  • night sweats

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