Possible tuberculosis case at Faith Mission

The Wichita County Health District is investigating a possible tuberculosis case out of Faith Mission.

Health officials received a report from United Regional on Friday about a homeless man who had stayed at the mission in January and who was suspected of having the infectious disease.

Tuberculosis is a serious infectious disease that affects the lungs.

Symptoms include fever, night sweats, chronic cough and unexplained weight loss.

Lou Kreidler, director of health of the Wichita County Health District, says there January to December of 2011, there were six cases of TB in our community.

Kriedler says what is unique about this case is that it is in the mission where there are multiple people sleeping in confined spaces.

Both the mission and health officials are taking the necessary steps to make sure the disease does not spread.

Kreidler says the man is hospitalized and in isolation.

Kreidler adds, "He's not of any further threat to the population at Faith Mission. We just want to make sure that there is no further disease in that population."

As of Wednesday evening, 29 people had received blood tests for the disease.

The health department wants to test anyone who spent the night in the men's dorm at Faith Mission since January or have spent more than six hours inside during the day.

"We want to take every precaution to ensure if there is anyone else out there who has been expose that we can catch those and give them all treatment," Kreidler says.

Kreidler adds the community should not be worried about a TB outbreak.

"Even if they've stayed at the mission, then the time that they were there they weren't around someone who was coughing, then their risk is very low because you have to come in contact with that individual." Kreidler states.

Test results can be expected in ten days from when they send them out.

The health department will conduct more tests on Thursday for anyone who feels they may had been in contact with the man.

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