Sunday, August 5, 2007

Gadsden Correctional inmate treated for TB

By TaMaryn Waters

An inmate at the Gadsden Correctional Facility has been diagnosed
with tuberculosis, according to officials.

The inmate, whose name was not released, was Tuesday and is currently
getting treatment at the Capital Regional Medical Center.

"This is one case that has been caught," Robby Cunningham, spokesman
for the Florida Department of Corrections. "This does not pose a
danger to the public." Cunningham could not give the woman's age or
how long she had been incarcerated.

Dr. Patrick Brown, director of health services for the DOC, is
leading the investigation on how the inmate contracted the disease
and how many others may have come in contact with the woman. He said
the inmate had chest pain, coughs, slight fevers and weight loss a
week ago, which are common signs of TB.

The correctional facility, located in Quincy, is a low-to-medium
security facility for females, and it has a 1,136 capacity. If any of
the persons who may have had contact shows symptoms of TB, Brown said
a skin test will be given to determine if they have been infected.

"TB is a treatable disease," Brown said. He said the disease is
common, especially in Third World countries, but there are cases that
spring up in this country.

He said local residents shouldn't panic since the inmate's particular
strain doesn't' appear to be an extremely resistant strand, such the
case with 31-year-old Andrew Speaker, a personal-injury attorney, who
was diagnosed on May 31 with TB and put on the first federal
quarantine since 1963.

Brown said the inmate is on four medications, which he said is
standard practice when someone is diagnosed with TB.

Contact TaMaryn Waters at (850) 599-2162 or

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