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Tuberculosis Testing Continues at Faith Mission

<font size=2> <P>Testing continues at Faith Mission after Wichita County health officials learn a man who stayed there may have tuberculosis.</P> <P>Mechell Dixon spoke with health officials to find out how that investigation is going.</P></font>

So far, several dozen Faith Mission employees and clients have been tested for TB.

And health officials say they're still trying to reach about a dozen *more* people to see if they test positive for the infectious disease.

It's a typical day inside Faith Mission homeless shelter with one difference, managers are keeping a close watch on clients here after one man, suspected of having tuberculosis, stayed here.

"We've done cleaning and we've done everything we can to the building. The Health District suggested that we do that to make sure our building is clean and sanitary and we're really just exercising and abundance of precaution here," says Steve Sparks, executive director at Faith Mission.

Health officials say this TB investigation is not out of the ordinary.

"We had six cases of TB last year, so this year so far, if we confirm this it will put us at 3 cases for this year," says Lou Kreidner, director for the Wichita County Health Department.

So, any shelter employees or clients who came in close contact with the suspected tb patient for more than six hours, are getting tested.

"To date, we have tested 49. We believe when we complete testing it will be around 60," explains Kreidner.

Since many shelter clients do not have homes or phones they are using this log book to track down clients who stayed here over the past six months, who are potentially at risk.

"We know the dates that they were here. We even know what bed they stayed in. We really do try our best to make this a clean, safe environment so, we're hoping that people will understand that these kinds of things are going to happen when you get a lot of the population together in one building but we're doing our best to make sure that it doesn't happen again," continues Sparks.

Health officials expect results on blood tests or shelter employees and clients to start coming in next Friday.

As for the man suspected of having TB, officials say his test results should come back in about eight weeks.

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