California: Rare Case of TB in Fresno County
October 9, 2008
A man now hospitalized in medical isolation has Fresno County's first-ever case of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB).
Dr. Kenneth Bird, the county's TB control and deputy health officer, said the man is from a group at high risk for TB, which can include immigrants and homeless persons. King said the patient is not homeless. The man was diagnosed with TB in early August, "but he had gone a long time undiagnosed with TB. By the time it was diagnosed, it had advanced," King said. Late last month, doctors diagnosed the man's TB strain as extensively drug-resistant.
County health workers have been contacting everyone potentially exposed to the patient. Test results so far indicate that only one person, a child in the man's home, may have TB. The health department has not yet confirmed the child is infected, and if so, whether the strain is XDR-TB.
While much more difficult to treat, XDR-TB is no more contagious that common TB strains, Bird said.
California has up to three XDR-TB cases each year, according to Dr. Jennifer Flood, chief of surveillance and epidemiology at the state Department of Public Health TB control branch. This represents less than 1 percent of the nearly 3,000 TB cases recorded annually in the state. California has had 20 XDR-TB cases since 1993.
The patient seems to be improving, Bird said, but will remain contagious for weeks or months and will need treatment for at least two years.
10.07.2008; Barbara Anderson
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.