Health Department Reports on Tuberculosis

The Parke County Health Department has been working closely with the Indiana State Department of Health to investigate a confirmed case of tuberculosis in the county.

According to a statement from the County Department, at this time, there is no risk of exposure to the public, and no additional cases have been identified.

As is routine in such investigations, the Parke County Health Department has been in contact with individuals who may have been exposed to arrange for them to be tested.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease spread from person to person through the air. It usually affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. TB germs are released into the air when a person with TB coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. Anyone who breathes in the air containing the TB germs can become infected.

Although it is airborne, TB is difficult to transmit and usually requires prolonged or repeated exposures unless a person has a weakened immune system. TB cannot be spread on surfaces such as a table, desk, handrail, or athletic equipment or by handshakes, sharing of eating utensils, or food.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled a fact sheet about TB that answers many questions about it. You can find it at this link: cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/general/tb.pdf.

This is an ongoing investigation, and individuals who may need to be tested will continue to be contacted as needed.

The Parke County Health Dept. will host a public meeting Thursday, November 1 at 4:30 p.m. at the Extension Office, located at the Fairgrounds. This meeting is being held to provide education about TB and to allow the public to ask questions. The Parke County Health Nurse and the Parke County Health Officer will be present as well as a representative from the Indiana State Department of Health.

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