Three Cases of Tuberculosis Reported in San Diego

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The Health and Human Services Agency announced three cases of tuberculosis have been reported in San Diego County. Health officials said two of the reported cases were on docked Navy ships, while the third was reported at San Ysidro high school. While the cases are not believed to be related, health officials are working towards warning people who may have been at risk of exposure. 

Health and Human Services are actively working with the Sweetwater Union High School District to warn those who may have been exposed between January 16 and May 31. District officials have announced that all students and staff members at risk of exposure have been offered free testing. The U.S. Navy is also working to inform contractors that were assigned to projects on the USS Bonhomme Richard from January 10 to June 8 and the USS Makin Island from March 23 to July 18. 

HHSA officials have advised all people who think they may have been at risk of exposure should immediately get tested. “Testing is recommended for all those exposed to assure they are not infected, since initial infection usually has no symptoms,” County public health officer Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H. said.

Symptoms of tuberculosis include persistent cough, night sweats, drastic weight loss, and fever. Tuberculosis can be highly contagious, as it is spread through microscopic droplets containing bacteria through coughs and sneezing. It can be effectively treated with antibiotics, but it is important to recognize signs of symptoms early. 

This follows last months report of a San Diego International Airport employee who was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Fortunately, city health officials declared the risk of further infection as being “extremely low,” as the employee had no contact with the public or other employees during the time they were contagious.

Anyone seeking additional information can contact the County TB Control Program at 619-692-8621. Additional sources for further information are as follows:

  • San Ysidro High School: (619) 710-2354
  • Huntington Ingalls Industries: (858) 522-6163
  • General Dynamics NASCCO: (619) 544-8861
  • Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Five: (619) 556-7070
  • County TB Control Program: (619) 692-8621 

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