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Tuberculosis Case Diagnosed In The Triad

11:12 PM, Dec 4, 2013   |    comments
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SURRY COUNTY, N.C. -- Wayne Farms says an employee tested positive for active Tuberculosis.

According to the Surry County Health Department, the person lives in Guilford County and must remain in his home until he is better.

People with active Tuberculosis can spread the disease by coughing and sneezing. However, the CDC says shaking hands or sharing food and drink will not spread the disease. 

About 250 Wayne Farms employees who might have been in contact with the employee had evaluations. The Surry County Health Department says it did not find any other active TB cases at the poultry plant. The health department will return to the plant in the middle of January just to be sure no one has contracted TB.

The health department says even though active Tuberculosis cases are contagious, this case does not affect or contaminate the food produced at Wayne Farms. 

Brandi Poplin with the Surry County Health Department said, "It's really rare that you contract it. Typically, a normal, healthy person exposed to somebody with tuberculosis is going to have a very low risk of getting ill...Even if you have been exposed, the chances of you actually getting sick are pretty low, especially if you're only in brief contact with that person."

Symptoms of active Tuberculosis include coughing up blood, fever, fatigue, chills and loss of appetite. People with latent Tuberculosis won't show signs of the disease and are not contagious, but they will test positive.

According to its website, Wayne Farms is the fifth largest "vertically integrated poultry producer in the U.S." The company released a statement about the employee and the investigation.

Guilford County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Ward Robinson said, "This is a core public health activity. This is exactly what we are trained and ready and willing to do. We're not scared of it. We know we have medicines that can cure the majority of individuals with TB."

You can learn more about TB by visiting the CDC website

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