Skip to content

Tuberculosis sweeping through Los Angeles' homeless population

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/22/2013 (6 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Sixty of 78 cases traced to skid row residents

A persistent outbreak of tuberculosis on downtown Los Angeles' skid row has led health officials to search for more than 4,500 people who may have been exposed to the disease. Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have dispatched scientists to Los Angeles to help local health officials determine why the disease is spreading -- and how to stop it.

Most of the TB patients are men. Twenty percent are also HIV-positive, according to the alert. Six of the eight patients who also had HIV have died.

Most of the TB patients are men. Twenty percent are also HIV-positive, according to the alert. Six of the eight patients who also had HIV have died.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/22/2013 (6 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Los Angeles, tuberculosis, HIV, bad hygeine, disease control


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Officials say 11 have died since 2007 and that 60 of the 78 cases were among the homeless people who live on and around skid row. The outbreak has been determined to a tuberculosis strain that is unique to Los Angeles, with a few isolated cases outside the area.

"This is the largest outbreak in a decade," Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says. "We are really putting all of our resources into this."

About 4,650 people were probably exposed to the disease and are trying to track them down for testing and treatment. The cases are linked to one relatively small geographic area and one vulnerable population. Officials are concerned that the outbreak could spread beyond skid row if action isn't taken.

Homeless people are especially at risk of getting TB and of being undiagnosed due to poor hygiene and nutrition, limited access to healthcare and ongoing contact with infected people.

Tuberculosis is also common among the homeless as they live in overcrowded areas and are constantly moving among hospitals, shelters and the streets. In addition, many have substance abuse or mental health issues that can impede treatment.

"They go from place to place and the likelihood of passing it along is much greater," Paul Gregerson, chief medical officer of the JWCH Institute says. The organization runs a homeless healthcare program on skid row. "It makes everybody more susceptible."

Tuberculosis is easily transmitted by inhaling droplets from infected patients when they sneeze, cough -- or even laugh. TB can be deadly if left untreated. The skid row strain can be treated with all anti-TB medications. Treatment lasts six to nine months.

Most of the TB patients are men. Twenty percent are also HIV-positive, according to the alert. Six of the eight patients who also had HIV have died.

The increase of TB among the homeless population is occurring even as the county is seeing a decline in overall cases.

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


Comments


More Health

Seattle Catholic schools to require vaccinations Watch

Image of

Children who attend Catholic schools administered by the Archdiocese of Seattle must be vaccinated and can no longer claim personal or ... continue reading


Pope commends Mozambican HIV clinic community as Good Samaritans Watch

Image of Zimpeto health clinic

Visiting the Zimpeto health clinic Friday, Pope Francis told the community that their care for the suffering recalls for him the parable of ... continue reading



Pope Francis condemns euthanasia as utilitarianism, not freedom Watch

Image of

Euthanasia is a way of treating the human person as an object; while it may appear to give freedom, it is really a rejection of hope, Pope ... continue reading


New Jersey appeals court overturns injunction on assisted suicide law Watch

Image of Assisted Suicide

A New Jersey appeals court ruled Tuesday that the state's law permitting assisted suicide may take effect while a legal challenge against ... continue reading


Pope Francis will visit this Catholic-run HIV treatment center in Mozambique Watch

Image of

Days ahead of his trip to three Eastern African nations, Pope Francis sent a video message to the people of Mozambique, saying his heart ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.