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Tuberculosis: Atlanta officials strive to contain outbreak of deadly disease

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Atlanta is currently experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of tuberculosis, and Georgia public health officials are scrambling to contain the spread of the disease. Reuters explained in an Aug. 8 report that the outbreak is linked to homeless shelters in Fulton Country. According to the report, 47 people have been infected, including two shelter volunteers.

So far, the tuberculosis outbreak has claimed the lives of at 3 people, and at least 47 others have been infected.

And while the disease is lethal and kills many of those who contract it, the possibility of getting it is incredibly remote, say health experts. Health officials say that there is no reason to panic although cases of Tuberculosis in Atlanta have been on the rise in the past months.

The Tuberculosis outbreak mainly affects homeless people and shelter volunteers, The Inquisitr wrote. The director of health protection for Public Health, Dr. Patrick O’Neal, said that the homeless shelters are especially vulnerable to the disease because they typically “have very poor sanitation and infection control measures.”

The Department of Public Health last week sent a letter to churches whose volunteers serve in homeless shelters, urging that the volunteers be screened for TB. This TB strain is resistant to the drug isoniazid, but is curable with other anti-TB medications.

“Only those people who were in close contact with the case need to be tested,” health officials said in a statement.

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