San Diego County Warns of Potential Tuberculosis Exposure at YMCA

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San Diego County Warns of Potential Tuberculosis Exposure at YMCA

A poster informs guests about health habits as people exercise at a YMCA community center and gym in a file photo. (Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

12/30/2023

Updated: 1/11/2024

SAN DIEGO—People who visited the YMCA branch in Mission Valley between March and October may have been exposed to tuberculosis (TB), according to county health officials.
County Health and Human Services Agency officials said the exposures may have occurred between March 5 and Oct. 30 at the branch located at 5505 Friars Road, generally during the hours of 9 and 11 a.m.
Health officials said they were working with the YMCA to notify members of potential exposures.
“Members who are believed to have had the longest cumulative duration of exposure during those time periods have been notified individually,” according to the county.
“Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said in a statement. “Most people who become infected after exposure to tuberculosis do not get sick right away. This is called latent TB infection. Some who become infected with TB will become ill in the future, sometimes even years later, if their latent TB infection is not treated. Blood tests and skin tests are effective to determine whether someone has been infected.”
According to the health agency, there were 192 TB cases in the county in 2020 and 201 people reported with active disease in 2021. In 2022, 208 people were reported with active TB disease in San Diego County. An estimated 175,000 people in San Diego County have a latent infection and are at risk for developing active TB without preventive treatment, health officials said.
Tuberculosis is an airborne disease that is transmitted from person-to- person through inhalation of the bacteria from the air. The chance of infection is higher for people with prolonged indoor exposure to a person who is sick. Brief interactions with a person with contagious tuberculosis are less likely to lead to an infection than prolonged or repeated exposures, according to county officials.
Affected YMCA members and employees were being advised to consult with their medical provider or contact the county’s TB Control Program.
County officials said individuals with symptoms of active TB and those who are immune-compromised should seek a medical provider to rule out active tuberculosis and to discuss treatment. More information regarding the exposure is available by calling the TB Control Program at 619-692-5565.
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