Potential TB exposure at two Chuze Fitness facilities

TB test. Image credit: CDC

By Gina Yarbrough

San Diego, CA–County health officials have reported a potential tuberculosis exposure at two Chuze Fitness establishments in San Diego County.

Chuze Fitness and the County Health and Human Services Agency are working to notify staff and members who may have been exposed to tuberculosis (TB) at the fitness center, located at 1233 Camino Del Rio South in Mission Valley, from January 4 to February 22, and the other location at 1030 3rd Ave. in Chula Vista, from February 1 to April 30. Members believed to be at highest risk at the Mission Valley location have been individually notified. Members at risk from exposures at the Chula Vista location have not been able to be defined. However, members who attended the location during the afternoons are believed to be at highest risk, County Health and Human Services Agency stated.

Based on current information, county health officials say there is no evidence to suggest a connection between the two exposures at the fitness centers, as well as previous TB exposures in San Diego neighborhoods.

TB is an illness that spreads from person-to-person when airborne bacteria are inhaled. People who frequently and spend extended periods of time indoors with an infected person are more likely to become infected.

Exposure times to TB can be lengthy because infected individuals might remain ill for several months before the illness is detected.

“Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Most people who become infected after exposure to tuberculosis do not get sick right away. This is called latent TB infection. Some who become infected with TB will become ill in the future, sometimes even years later, if their latent TB infection is not treated. Blood tests and skin tests are effective to determine whether someone has been infected.”

According to county health officials, people who test positive for TB but who don’t have symptoms of active TB should get a chest x-ray and talk to a medical provider, as they most likely have a latent TB infection.  People in this situation are infected with TB, but the infection is essentially dormant or “sleeping.” Taking medicines for latent TB infection can cure the infection and keep these people from getting sick.

The number of people diagnosed with active TB in San Diego County has decreased since the early 1990s and has stabilized in recent years. There were 192 in 2020 and 201 people reported with active disease in 2021. Preliminary data shows 208 people were reported to have active TB disease in 2022.

For more information on potential exposure to TB are urged to call the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-5565.

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