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Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta, county health officials address tuberculosis exposure

Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta, county health officials address tuberculosis exposure

Author: SuperUser Account/Friday, January 9, 2015/Categories: Uncategorized, Living

A patient at Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta in Murrieta has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis. LLUMC-Murrieta is working with county health officials to notify individuals who might have been exposed to the illness.

“Because our hospital is new and has state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtering system, the exposure was contained,” said Rick Rawson, CEO of LLUMC-Murrieta. “We have identified which patients and employees had potential exposure to this patient. We are currently working with the County of Riverside Department of Public Health to notify the limited group of patients as quickly as possible.”

LLUMC-Murrieta employees are required to be screened annually for TB and no employees who were potentially exposed have tested positive for TB. Other individuals who were potentially exposed will be advised that they should be screened for TB.  Screening for TB includes a simple skin test. If the skin test reads positive, the individual will then require a chest x-ray and follow up with an appropriate provider. Individuals who were potentially exposed will be advised of various locations where they can have the TB skin test. The medical center reported the illness to the county health department.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, said that the risk of transmission is very low, but urged those who may have been exposed to be tested.

“TB testing is being recommended as a precautionary measure.” Kaiser said. “It only takes a short time but will provide peace of mind.”

Tuberculosis is a disease spread through the air during prolonged, repeated and close contact with an individual who is infected with active tuberculosis. People may contract TB when breathing air exhaled by someone who is sick with TB. When left untreated, TB can result in complications that can be serious. TB is not spread by shaking hands, sharing food or drink, or via bed linens or toilet seats. Symptoms include a productive cough, unexplained weight loss, fever, and feeling tired. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. A person with inactive (latent) TB cannot spread it to others.

Anyone concerned about TB can contact their health care provider or the Public Health Department Disease Control at (951) 358-5107. For additional information about tuberculosis, visit the Department of Public Health’s website www.rivco-diseasecontrol.org.

Contacts:
Jose Arballo Jr.,
Senior Public Information Specialist
Office: 951-358-5599 Cell: 951-712-3705
Email: jarballo@rivcocha.org

Barbara Cole, R.N., PHN, MSN Director, Disease Control
Office: 951-358-5107 Cell: 951-906-9001

Kathryn Stiles, PIO, LLUMC-Murrieta
Office: 951-704-1940  Cell: 937-522-1170; kstiles@llu.edu.

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