UPDATE 9/4/12 @ 6 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than 80 people who have been tested for tuberculosis exposure after a confirmed case at the Huntington Junior Business College learned those results Tuesday.
"We won't be releasing the findings," says Elizabeth Ayers with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. "We won't release the results to the public until the patients are told of the results first.
The patient with the one confirmed case in Cabell County is currently undergoing treatment.
News of TB, the West Nile Virus, swine flu, influenza and allergies have people running to the doctor and running a little scared.
"We're getting all kinds of calls," says Don Ramey, a nurse care practitioner at King's Daughters Medical Center's Urgent Care Clinic in Ashland, Ky.
"We've had seven confirmed cases of flu, which is early for this time of year and we're seeing bronchitis and sinusitis," Ramey said. "It's a lot of viruses people are passing along in closed spaces."
Flu shots also are arriving early. It's best to contact your local health department for specifics in your area. KDMC has the vaccine available at its primary care locations.
Flu vaccines are also available without an appointment at KDMC's Urgent Care locations in Ashland, Grayson, Ky., Ironton, Ohio, and Portsmouth, Ohio.
"I couldn't breath, that's how sick I was," says Barbara Talbott of Russell, Ky., who showed up Tuesday at KDMC's Urgent Care Center in Ashland. "It just gives me peace of mind with what's going around. To actually know what's wrong will just make me feel better, because I've felt lousy."
The case was reported in the Westmoreland area of Huntington.
The health department says the disease is caused by bacteria that usually attacks the lung but can also attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain.
They say TB is spread through the air from one person to another. According to a news release from the Cabell-Huntington Health Department , "The TB bacteria are put in the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings." The health department says people nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
TB is NOT spread by
*Shaking someone's hand
*Sharing food or drink
*Touching bed linens or toilet seats
*A bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer
*Pain in the chest
*Coughing up blood or sputum
*Weakness or fatigue
If you have been exposed, the health department says they will contact you to discuss precautionary steps. Health department officals tell WSAZ.com that they have identified the person that was exposed and if they do not contact you, you should not be concerned.
The health department will offer free TB skin tests on Monday July 18 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Westmoreland Senior Center. It is located at 3609 Hughes Street in Huntington.
For more information, call the TB Hotline at 304-526-3397.
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