[Hpn] TUBERCULOSIS CASES HIT RECORD HIGH

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sun, 14 Aug 2005 03:11:43 -0400


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      Yuma TB cases hit record high

      BY JONATHAN ATHENS, Sun Staff Writer
      Aug 13, 2005

     =20
    =20
    =20
Public health officials say tuberculosis rates in Yuma County now stand =
at a record high and are expected to increase as the year progresses.

So far this year, the Yuma County Health Department has diagnosed and =
treated a total of 32 persons with tuberculosis or TB, compared with 20 =
cases last year, the department reported.

Maria Nunez, health department nursing supervisor, said this year's =
rates represent a record high for the county. All confirmed TB cases are =
required to be reported to the health department.

Of those cases diagnosed this year, three were children. The four =
most-recent cases, diagnosed within the last two weeks, were homeless =
men, said Nunez. All four are in Yuma Regional Medical Center receiving =
treatment, Nunez said.=20

Nunez said she thinks the number of TB cases in the county will continue =
to climb.=20

"One TB case will infect 10 to 15 people and out of those 10 to 15, =
about 5 percent will come down with TB," Nunez said.

Nunez attributed the rise in such cases to increased population, more =
people crossing the Arizona-Mexico border and health care professionals =
being more attuned to check patients for symptoms of the disease.

Area physician Dr. Mallappa Neelappa said he treated four or five of =
those patients within the last month.

Neelappa attributed the rise of TB rates to poor living conditions and =
poor health among those cases. None of those he said he treated were in =
the advanced stage of the disease.

A bacterial infection, TB can attack the lungs or any other part of the =
body and can be fatal if not treated properly, according to the Centers =
for Disease Control's Web site.

The illness is transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes, =
the CDC reported.

There were 14,874 reported cases in the United States in 2003, the CDC =
reported.

Nunez said the health department has screened and treated 300 people or =
more who had come in contact with the 32 persons diagnosed with the =
disease.

Nunez said the health department has an adequate amount of antibiotics =
to treat those who are diagnosed and an adequate number of skin test =
kits to screen for the disease.

Last year two people died from TB in the Yuma area. So far this year =
there have been no reported TB-related deaths.

According to the CDC, approximately 800 people died from TB in 2002.

Nunez said the health department screens about 200 people every four =
months for the disease.

Symptoms of TB include chills, fever, weight loss, appetite loss, =
weakness, chest pains and a productive (also known as a "wet" cough) =
cough that lasts more than two weeks, the CDC reported.

Nunez said those with compromised immune systems are at a greater risk =
for contracting the illness.

Jonathan Athens can be reached at
jathens@yumasun.com or 539-6857.=20


http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org

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    <TD class=3Darttext width=3D185><FONT class=3Dartname>Yuma TB cases =
hit record=20
      high</FONT><BR><BR><FONT class=3Dartdate>BY JONATHAN ATHENS, Sun =
Staff=20
      Writer</FONT><BR><FONT class=3Dartdate2>Aug 13, =
2005</FONT><BR><BR></TD>
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class=3Darttext>Public=20
health officials say tuberculosis rates in Yuma County now stand at a =
record=20
high and are expected to increase as the year progresses.<BR><BR>So far =
this=20
year, the Yuma County Health Department has diagnosed and treated a =
total of 32=20
persons with tuberculosis or TB, compared with 20 cases last year, the=20
department reported.<BR><BR>Maria Nunez, health department nursing =
supervisor,=20
said this year's rates represent a record high for the county. All =
confirmed TB=20
cases are required to be reported to the health department.<BR><BR>Of =
those=20
cases diagnosed this year, three were children. The four most-recent =
cases,=20
diagnosed within the last two weeks, were homeless men, said Nunez. All =
four are=20
in Yuma Regional Medical Center receiving treatment, Nunez said. =
<BR><BR>Nunez=20
said she thinks the number of TB cases in the county will continue to =
climb.=20
<BR><BR>"One TB case will infect 10 to 15 people and out of those 10 to =
15,=20
about 5 percent will come down with TB," Nunez said.<BR><BR>Nunez =
attributed the=20
rise in such cases to increased population, more people crossing the=20
Arizona-Mexico border and health care professionals being more attuned =
to check=20
patients for symptoms of the disease.<BR><BR>Area physician Dr. Mallappa =

Neelappa said he treated four or five of those patients within the last=20
month.<BR><BR>Neelappa attributed the rise of TB rates to poor living =
conditions=20
and poor health among those cases. None of those he said he treated were =
in the=20
advanced stage of the disease.<BR><BR>A bacterial infection, TB can =
attack the=20
lungs or any other part of the body and can be fatal if not treated =
properly,=20
according to the Centers for Disease Control's Web site.<BR><BR>The =
illness is=20
transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the CDC=20
reported.<BR><BR>There were 14,874 reported cases in the United States =
in 2003,=20
the CDC reported.<BR><BR>Nunez said the health department has screened =
and=20
treated 300 people or more who had come in contact with the 32 persons =
diagnosed=20
with the disease.<BR><BR>Nunez said the health department has an =
adequate amount=20
of antibiotics to treat those who are diagnosed and an adequate number =
of skin=20
test kits to screen for the disease.<BR><BR>Last year two people died =
from TB in=20
the Yuma area. So far this year there have been no reported TB-related=20
deaths.<BR><BR>According to the CDC, approximately 800 people died from =
TB in=20
2002.<BR><BR>Nunez said the health department screens about 200 people =
every=20
four months for the disease.<BR><BR>Symptoms of TB include chills, =
fever, weight=20
loss, appetite loss, weakness, chest pains and a productive (also known =
as a=20
"wet" cough) cough that lasts more than two weeks, the CDC=20
reported.<BR><BR>Nunez said those with compromised immune systems are at =
a=20
greater risk for contracting the illness.<BR><BR>Jonathan Athens can be =
reached=20
at<BR>jathens@yumasun.com or 539-6857. </FONT><BR></FONT></DIV>
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