Tuberculosis outbreak at Chicago migrant shelters sparks urgent contact tracing – Press Stories

Tuberculosis Cases Detected at Migrant Facilities in Chicago

Following a recent measles outbreak in Chicago’s shelters, a new concern has arisen as tuberculosis cases have been detected in migrant facilities around the city. The Chicago Department of Public Health has confirmed that ‘a small number of cases’ have been reported in various shelters.

The majority of the measles cases in Chicago were reported in the Pilsen migrant shelter, highlighting the vulnerability of individuals living in close quarters. Associate professor of medicine, Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the University of Chicago Dr. Aniruddha Hazra explained that outbreaks in shelters can occur due to the proximity in living situations.

It is estimated that between 10 percent and 20 percent of people living in Central and South America have latent tuberculosis. Unlike measles, tuberculosis cannot be prevented with vaccines. However, it can be treated with antibiotics and is not as contagious, requiring prolonged close contact to spread.

The CDPH typically expects to see between 100-150 cases of tuberculosis in Chicago residents in an average year. They are currently working to contain the outbreak and provide treatment to individuals as necessary. Hazra also noted that latent tuberculosis can be reactivated in the future, but can be effectively treated with anti-TB therapy.

As the city continues to address these health concerns within migrant facilities, it is crucial for individuals to be aware of the symptoms of tuberculosis and seek medical attention if necessary. The CDPH remains vigilant in their efforts to ensure the health and safety of all individuals in the community.

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