Health Officials Say Refugees Are Not Increasing TB in Idaho
Recent reports from news sites such as Breitbart reported that seven refugees with active tuberculosis were sent to Idaho; now Idaho's state epidemiologist is clarifying those reports.
Hoping to allay some of the fears stirred up by online chatter and blogs, Dr. Christine Hahn said that "We've never had TB spread from a refugee to anyone else within the state."
According to KTVB, the department confirmed that seven refugees were diagnosed with active TB between 2011 and 2015 shortly after they arrived, however Hahn said that those individuals were treated and have made a full recovery.
Hahn also said that Idaho receives about ten cases of tuberculosis each year and that rate has not increased significantly since refugee resettlement began in Idaho.
"We have picked up a few cases of tuberculosis and that's what we reported, but none of them were infectious or posed a risk to the general public," she said. "Since refugees have been coming into the country, they are all screened for TB."
Tuberculosis is treated with antibiotics and is a curable bacterial disease that usually attacks the lungs, causing a cough, fever and weight loss. It is typically spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and somebody else inhales the airborne particles.