Shelby County, Indiana Confirms Tuberculosis Case
Public health nurse Cecilia Ortiz told the board of directors of Shelby County Indiana Health Department this April that a tuberculosis case had been confirmed in Shelby County last month.
The health department has been treating the infected adult with drugs recommended by the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while being isolated in his home. "We don't consider him to be highly infectious," Ortiz said, adding that three children in the home tested negative for TB bacterium. Complicating matters is a shortage of the purified protein derivative used for testing for the TB bacteria. Ortiz said she has only one vial left and is holding on to it to retest children in the patient's household. "The shortage of (the test) really hampers us a little bit," she said. "We'd like to test everybody but we can't always do that."
Ortiz also reported that the childhood immunization program has continued to serve smaller numbers than in the past and that Indiana has recently offered the pertussis (whooping cough) booster to adults without medical insurance if they care for an infant under the age of 1. "They used to offer that, but it was only if they lived in the household," she said. The new program doesn't require that, so even extended familial caregivers can be immunized if they are at least 19 years of age and do not have insurance.
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