Jacksonville, FL TB outbreak kept secret for months

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posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 02:10 PM
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Source 1


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a serious warning for Florida health officials in April: A tuberculosis outbreak in Jacksonville was one of the worst it had investigated in 20 years. Linked to 13 deaths and 99 illnesses, including six children, it would require concerted action to stop.

The public was not to learn anything until early June, even though the same strain was appearing in other parts of the state.

Today, three months after it was sent to Tallahassee, the CDC report still has not been widely circulated.

It was early February when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the CDC to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials decided not to tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.

"What you don't want is for anyone to have another reason why people should turn their backs on the homeless," said Charles Griggs, a spokesman for the county Health Department.
[...]
The CDC report had been penned on April 5, nine days after Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill that shrank the state 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.



Source 2

There has been a coverup here in Jacksonville, Florida of a very dangerous disease by our local health departments. I live in the Jacksonville metro area and this deeply disturbs me. This is absolutely ridiculous, them threatening the people of our city like this and not even alerting the public to this threat! Anyone who lives on the "First Coast", or if you know someone who lives here, should take precautions to protect themselves from TB.
edit on Tue Jul 17 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS




posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


Holy "Cover-up" Batman!

Stupid to say, but wouldn't an announcement have been wise to do? I mean, awareness and basic precautions could have stopped the spread.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


I was about to post a thread on this, but the search function led me here.


It has gotten worse. The Florida Department of Health is deploying a team to do blood-testing and treatment in Duval County in response to the outbreak.

The plans to close the TB hospital are almost complete, and the TB patients have been transferred out to other qualified facilities, it's hard to tell if that is related or just coincidence, but the outbreak in Jacksonville is a real concern that is finally being taken seriously.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 09:30 AM
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This really does not surprise me. There have been a big number of whooping cough cases here in KY too... Both affect the lungs. Cover-up? Both are bacterial infections. Wonder why the increase?
edit on 7/26/2012 by cassiper because: wanted to add to my post



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 09:36 AM
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I swear Florida is trying to get itself kicked out of the Union.

This part aggravates the hell out of me:


It was early February when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the CDC to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials decided not to tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia


I thought we quit doing this crap after the Titanic.
edit on 26-7-2012 by nixie_nox because: wha?



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by cassiper
 


Yep, it was a bad winter here for persistent coughs, and I know many people that had to get repeated dosages of antibiotics through the winter. Here we are in late-July, and I know people that are still suffering from persistent coughs and sore throats. I don't know if its related to the TB or not, hopefully NOT!

Once they start wide-spread blood testing, it is scary to think what they might find!



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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reply to post by cassiper
 


Global warming.

Nice warm environments make bugs happy.

If you also look, pleasant plants like poison ivy is having a field day.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I was sick this past winter with what my Dr kept calling a sinus infection. It was weird though because most sinus infections I get go away with 1 round of AB... This took 3.
edit on 7/26/2012 by cassiper because: Typo



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by cassiper
 


Yep, same here. One of my co-workers hacked all winter, after his 3rd round of antibiotics, the docs finally put him on a cocktail of antibiotics, and it seemed to kick it. He hacked from November through April! He said he couldn't remember the last time he had been sick before that.

One of my sons NEVER gets sick, but he had to take a round of antibiotics and prednisone, and it didn't phase his cough, started bordering on pneumonia, so the doc also put him on a cocktail of antibiotics.

Scary bugs last winter, hope it doesn't get worse this year.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 12:57 PM
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Just giving a bump for the afternoon crowd. This is a developing story, and hopefully there will be some more press sources by this time tomorrow. They are about to start wide-spread testing for TB in Jacksonville, and it seems the authorities are finally taking the outbreak seriously.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
I swear Florida is trying to get itself kicked out of the Union.

This part aggravates the hell out of me:


It was early February when Duval County Health Department officials felt so overwhelmed by the sudden spike in tuberculosis that they asked the CDC to become involved. Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials decided not to tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia


I thought we quit doing this crap after the Titanic.
edit on 26-7-2012 by nixie_nox because: wha?


and people ask why would the government not tell us about stuff.


btw it was the CDC who was responsible for the cover up, not Florida.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by LittleBlackEagle
 


Most recent article I could find about the "aggressive testing" that is about to start.

Apparently they have planned for a couple of weeks now to attempt to test every homeless person in the city. The activation of a DOH emergency response team is new information though, and it doesn't seem to be hitting the publications yet.

I wonder how much further they will expand the testing. We have several popular ATS contributors in Jacksonville that could be affected if they work in a multitude of settings that would put them in contact with potential sufferers.
edit on 26-7-2012 by getreadyalready because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by LittleBlackEagle
 


Actually, the article title is very misleading. It was the county that hid it, not CDC.


But on April 5, the CDC warned Florida health officials that the Jacksonville outbreak was rapidly gaining ground: 13 deaths and 99 illnesses, including six children, had resulted already.


Outbreaks are handled on a local level, not the federal level unless it is really obscure or really bad.

All testing and control is done at your local health department.

What Jacksonville was hiding was they didn't want the general population to know and start ostracizing or even attacking the homeless.

Florida seriously screwed the pooch on this one.

If they had taken action in the first place, most of this would of been avoided.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


So instead of appropriately handling the first few cases, the good citizens of Florida now have to pay for testing of all the homeless people in Jacksonville.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


The new surgeon general is claiming the majority of deaths were due to other causes, like HIV or Hepatatis, and TB was only a contributing factor, not a direct cause. He is also stating they didn't cover it up, they partnered with homeless shelters and local hospitals to identify potential new cases, but the fact is..... they didn't alert the public, and they didn't follow CDC recommendations even after asking the CDC for help.


Now, they are attempting to test 3000 homeless people..... but then what? We closed the TB hospital, and there is very, very limited space in existing hospitals for existing patients, so what are they going to do if they identify another 200 patients?



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


This is a very scary situation here and I am paranoid about every person coughing around me. There is no way on earth that I could get TB, I have had problems with my lungs since I was born. Every time I got any sort of cold it just devastated my lungs, this would probably kill me.


Fortunately I do not work in any place that deals directly with the homeless. Add to that this seems to be a problem only in Jacksonville so far and I live about 5 miles outside of Jacksonville city limits. If anyone knows how Jacksonville is set up, it is a massive city (land area) so the distance between downtown where most of the homeless live and St. Johns County is around 20-25 miles. So long as it stays in Jacksonville us here in St. Johns should be fine. But we are nervous about this outbreak too. For the first time I am glad we do not have any public transport coming within 10 miles of here - the homeless are known for using public transport.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 05:17 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I would like to see the OCME Med Ex report on the cause of death.

Whether the cause of death from TB is primary or secondary, you still have 100 sick people.

The first thing they do is test and isolate the people in the immediate contact circle and than secondary contact circle.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


TB is harder to catch than most things. Which is why the fact that there are 100 cases is such a disgrace.

You pretty much have to live with someone for a bit to get it, which is why it seems rampant among the homeless right now, they huddle in groups.

Even then, one member of a household can have TB and the other still won't get it.

So a transfer on a bus won't affect you.

AT least there is treatment for it these days. My great grandmother spent five years in an instituton over it. My grandmother and her sister had to be put in foster care.
edit on 26-7-2012 by nixie_nox because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 08:04 AM
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Jacksonville now has state's only TB approved hospital.

Geeeee, I wonder if this is a coincidence that when all the TB patients were transferred to Jacksonville....... Jacksonville had a mysterious outbreak of TB?



That’s what happened in Jacksonville. In April, the CDC sent the state a report that Jacksonville had “one of the most extensive TB outbreaks that the CDC has been invited to assist with since the early 1990s.” The report discussed a dangerous strain of the disease that had produced 99 illnesses and 13 deaths.

The report received widespread attention in June after a Palm Beach Post reporter obtained it through a public records request. Yacht and others accused the Scott administration of covering up the outbreak so there wasn’t a controversy about closing A.G. Holley.

Florida Surgeon General John H. Armstrong replied with a letter saying that the deaths were spread out over eight years and in most cases the deaths were due to other causes, such as hepatitis C, “with TB being present in addition.” He said there was no attempt to hide the report.




posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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42 CAses of active TB in Jacksonville


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Health Department is continuing its investigation of tuberculosis in Duval County.

Some 2,100 people have been identified as priority contacts.

The Duval County Health Department deployed five teams of health professionals to focus on screening the homeless population in Jacksonville. The goal is to find active cases, stop the transmission of TB, and identify latent tuberculosis infection to eliminate the source of future infection.

So far in 2012, there have been 42 reported cases of active TB. The health department says 15 of the cases are all related to the same strain of TB called FL0046. The individuals are either homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless.



Told you guys this would be hitting the news today, there are articles in pretty much every newspaper in the state.





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