Health officials search for those who had contact with TB patient

SHARE Health officials search for those who had contact with TB patient

Officials are looking for anyone in Illinois who may have had contact with a person diagnosed with a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis who recently traveled through O’Hare Airport.

The patient, who has not been identified, was diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis after traveling in April from India to the United States through O’Hare in early April, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The patient visited family members in McHenry County on May 18, and sought treatment there, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. The patient has since been transferred to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland for treatment.

Individuals who were in close contact with the patient are being monitored, according to the IDPH statement.

When a person infected with tuberculosis coughs, sneezes, shouts or sings, the bacteria becomes airborne, according to the health department. Anyone who breathes air containing the bacteria can then become infected.

“We continue to work with our local, state, and federal public health partners to conduct contact tracing to identify individuals who may have had contact with this patient and determine if they should be treated for TB infection,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah said in the statement.

Symptoms of tuberculosis include feeling sick or weak, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. Anyone who thinks they may be infected should contact their doctor or local health department.

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