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Three Unrelated Tuberculosis Cases Confirmed At San Ysidro High, Navy Ships

An undated X-ray of a Tuberculosis patient's lung.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Above: An undated X-ray of a Tuberculosis patient's lung.

County health officials announced the confirmation of three unrelated tuberculosis cases Thursday at San Ysidro High School and two U.S. Navy ships.

Officials with the county's Health and Human Services Agency and the Sweetwater Union High School District currently are working to notify people who may have been exposed to the disease at San Ysidro High from Jan. 16 to May 31.

The HHSA will provide free testing for students who may have been exposed and the district will provide testing for staff and faculty, according to the county. Residents can contact San Ysidro High School at 619-710-2354 for more information on the exposure period.

"Testing is recommended for all those exposed to assure they are not infected since initial infection usually has no symptoms," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "For any infected individuals, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can prevent the infectious form of the disease."

In addition, employees of Huntington Ingalls Industries may have been exposed to TB aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard on Jan. 10 to June 8 and General Dynamics NASSCO employees may have been exposed on the USS Makin Island from March 23 to July 18.

The Bonhomme Richard was docked at Naval Base San Diego during its exposure window while the Makin Island was docked at NASSCO during its window, according to the county. Exposure for Navy personnel is unlikely and neither ship was open to the public.

Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics NASSCO both plan to offer free testing to employees who may have been exposed.

The two companies can be reached at 858-522-6163 and 619-544-8861, respectively, regarding the potential exposure. Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Five can also be reached at 619-556-7070.

Tuberculosis is generally transmitted through the air or via contact with an infected person. Roughly one-third of those exposed to the bacterial disease will develop it, according to the HHSA, but most avoid infection. Tuberculosis symptoms can include a persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplainable weight loss.

Residents can contact the county's tuberculosis control program at 619- 692-8621 or visit the program's website at sandiegocounty.gov/hhsa/programs/phs/tuberculosis_control_program for more information on the disease.

You can also read more about tuberculosis from the Centers From Disease Control and Prevention.

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