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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

NORTH DAKOTA: Tuberculosis Outbreak in North Dakota Linked to Homeless Visitors


Bismarck Tribune (11.13.12)

Health officials have traced the eight cases of active TB diagnosed in Grand Forks, N.D., to homeless visitors who had been staying with a local family. The disease was diagnosed in six adults and two children of that family. The adults are in their 20s and 40s, one child is elementary school age, and the other is five-months old. Three members of the family have been hospitalized. Don Shields, public health director, explained that the outbreak is traceable to a family that recently came to the community. He noted that they were not immigrants nor were they refugees. He emphasized that “they are Americans” and that they did not have a local address and are homeless. They had traveled through the area and stayed with friends, and the disease passed to the friends. He also stated that the older child had been removed from school and that the other children in that classroom are being tested. Since the first three cases of TB were identified last month in the homeless visitors, more than 250 persons have been tested. Dee Pritschet, North Dakota’s Health Department TB specialist, noted that there were only 27 confirmed cases of TB in the state in the last four years.


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