Tuberculosis breaks out in Chicago refugee shelters after cases of measles

Chicago health officials have announced that a “small number” of tuberculosis (TB) cases have been reported at some migrant facilities following a recent outbreak of measles among migrants living in shelters in the Windy City.

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) said the tuberculosis cases were reported at “a few different shelters” in the city. However, officials did not disclose the exact number of confirmed cases nor the locations of the shelters from which they came. Fox 32 Chicago reports.

The agency says its medical teams are ramping up contact tracing to address the health issue. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs.

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Confirmed cases of tuberculosis now include more than 55 confirmed cases of measles in Chicago, with most of those cases reported at the Pilsen Migrant Shelter on Halsted Street.

“CDPH is aware that, over the course of the response, a small number of cases of tuberculosis have occurred among new arrivals at a few different shelters,” the health department said in a statement to Fox 32.

The health agency said between 10 and 20% of residents in Central and South America have latent tuberculosis infection, which is asymptomatic and cannot be transmitted to others. However, according to CDPH, this results in a positive TB test.

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According to CDPH, tuberculosis is curable with antibiotics and is not particularly contagious. Spread typically requires prolonged close contact between individuals for several hours or more.

“TB is not a novel or uncommon disease in Chicago, as the Chicago Department of Public Health typically expects 100 to 150 cases of tuberculosis among Chicago residents in an average year,” the CDPH statement said. “We will continue to provide treatment to individuals as needed and take appropriate precautions to prevent spread, but we do…

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