Long Beach Officials Withhold Hotel Name In Tuberculosis Outbreak 

Long Beach officials have not released the name of the single room occupancy (SRO) hotel linked to the current tuberculosis outbreak in order to protect patient privacy and comply with HIPAA regulations. The outbreak has resulted in 14 confirmed cases of TB disease, nine hospitalizations and one death as of April 29.

City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis declared a local public health emergency on Thursday to bolster the city’s preparedness and response capabilities. Health Department workers are currently screening about 170 people who may have been exposed to the illness for tuberculosis.

The official press release emphasized that the outbreak is currently isolated to a specific population facing significant barriers to care such as homelessness, housing insecurity, mental illness, substance use and serious medical comorbidities. The number of cases and contacts is expected to rise as the investigation continues.

“We’ve had a lot of people coming from the developing part of the world where tuberculosis is endemic. And if they haven’t had a chance to get adequate healthcare and they have active TB, when they cough, they will aerosolize the bacteria, and all the susceptible individuals around them start to come down with TB,” explained Dr. Suman Radhakrishna, Director of Infectious Disease at Dignity Health.

Tuberculosis, a serious illness that primarily affects the lungs, spreads easily in crowded gatherings or living conditions. People with weakened immune systems face a higher risk of contracting the illness.

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