Active TB case triggers health alert at Mission Valley YMCA

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–In a public health announcement, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency revealed that individuals frequenting the Mission Valley YMCA between March 5 and Oct. 30 may have been exposed to tuberculosis. 

The County’s Tuberculosis Program, part of the Public Health Services department, is actively collaborating with the Mission Valley YMCA located at 5505 Friars Road in San Diego to identify and notify members and staff potentially affected by the exposure.

Exposures primarily occurred between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., with individuals believed to have experienced the longest cumulative duration of exposure during these time slots being individually notified. Active tuberculosis cases often go undetected, and individuals may unknowingly transmit the disease for months before diagnosis. Following awareness, typically prompted by medical provider test results, communicable disease investigators engage in extensive interviews to determine the duration of infection and potential exposure locations.

“Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.” Latent TB infection may not manifest symptoms immediately, and individuals may fall ill years later if untreated. Blood tests and skin tests effectively identify TB infection,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer said in a news release. 

The YMCA has collaborated with health authorities to pinpoint potentially affected members, issuing notifications to both specific individuals and the broader membership and staff base. Those affected are urged to consult with medical providers or contact the County TB Control Program for guidance.

TB, an airborne disease, spreads through inhalation of bacteria. Prolonged indoor exposure heightens infection risks. While specific individuals with prolonged exposure are being individually informed, this information is shared broadly to empower other members and employees to make informed health decisions.

Individuals testing positive for TB without active symptoms should undergo chest x-rays and consult medical providers, as latent TB infection can be dormant. Treatment prevents progression to active disease. Symptomatic individuals and those with compromised immune systems should promptly consult medical professionals for active TB rule-out and treatment discussions.

Despite a recent stabilization in TB cases, the County reported 208 active TB cases in 2022. Approximately 175,000 individuals in San Diego County carry latent TB infection, underscoring the importance of preventive treatment.

For more information on potential exposure, concerned individuals can contact the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-5565. 

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