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Worst TB outbreak in 20 years kept secret

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posted on Jul, 15 2012 @ 07:16 AM

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer JACKSONVILLE — The CDC officer had a serious warning for Florida health officials in April: A tuberculosis outbreak in Jacksonville was one of the worst his group had investigated in 20 years. Linked to 13 deaths and 99 illnesses, including six children, it would require concerted action to stop.

That report had been penned on April 5, exactly nine days after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill that shrank the Department of Health and required the closure of the A.G. Holley State Hospital in Lantana, where tough tuberculosis cases have been treated for more than 60 years.

As health officials in Tallahassee turned their focus to restructuring, Dr. Robert Luo’s 25-page report describing Jacksonville’s outbreak — and the measures needed to contain it – went unseen by key decision makers around the state. At the health agency, an order went out that the TB hospital must be closed six months ahead of schedule.

Had they seen the letter, decision makers would have learned that 3,000 people in the past two years may have had close contact with contagious people at Jacksonville’s homeless shelters, an outpatient mental health clinic and area jails. Yet only 253 people had been found and evaluated for TB infection, meaning Florida’s outbreak was, and is, far from contained.

Wow... I don't know what is more disturbing, the fact that the report was actively suppressed or that the public didn't even learn of this for two months. Is it because the report detailed homeless individuals? I'm sure this would be a whole different story had it been in a wealthy neighborhood. This country is just getting out of hand anymore and I'm sure the government know that the American people are about to snap.

edit on 15-7-2012 by Catalyst317 because: (no reason given)

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