UPDATE 5/3/13 @ 7:45 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Cabell-Huntington Health
Department officials are trying to track down more than 100 people
who may have been exposed to tuberculosis.
"If we're not contacting you, this is not a time for panic," Health Department Director Dr. Harry Tweel said. "But we're actively hunting down who may be at risk."
West Virginia has some of the lowest rates of TB in the country. In Cabell County, though, there have been more than half a dozen confirmed cases since the fall of 2011.
Anyone who has had a bad cough lasting three weeks or longer,
with chills and/or fever should seek medical testing to have TB
The health department is dealing with two confirmed cases. It is trying to reduce the risk of spreading by having people who may have come in contact with those patients tested.
"We will be going after anyone we can associate with this situation," Tweel said. "We'll give them the option to come in. Eventually, if they don't, they may have to be evaluated under court order."
The Health Department and the West Virginia Division of Tuberculosis Elimination continue to investigate those individuals who may have had contact with the confirmed cases, according to a news release.
No other details have been released.
Tuberculosis is a disease that is caused by bacteria that usually attacks the lungs but can also attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain. It is spread through the air from one person to another.
Symptoms of TB are a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum, weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever and night sweats.
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