Long Beach

1 person dead amid tuberculosis outbreak in Long Beach

The city declared a public health emergency following an outbreak in a single-room occupancy hotel in Long Beach.


A tuberculosis outbreak among residents of a single-room occupancy hotel in Long Beach has left one person dead and led to the hospitalizations of nine others, prompting the declaration of a public health emergency, city officials said Thursday.

The city Department of Health and Human Services insists the risk of exposure to the general public is low, with the outbreak restricted to a "distinct population" of people with "significant barriers to care, including homelessness and housing insecurity, mental illness, substance abuse and serious medical comorbidities."

As of April 29, a total of 14 cases have been associated with the outbreak. The city declined to release the name of the hotel at the center of the outbreak, citing patient privacy concerns.

City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis declared a local public health emergency in response to the outbreak. The declaration is expected to be ratified by the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday.

Health officials said people who have stayed at the privately operated hotel may have been exposed and will be contacted by the city. Investigators have identified about 170 people who may have been exposed, and they are in the process of being screened, with the number of cases and additional exposures expected to increase.

"Those who are found to have active TB disease or latent TB infection will be provided treatment," according to the city. "The level of attention needed to contain the outbreak is well beyond the scope of the department's day-to-day work. The population of concern requires outreach and engagement, necessitating significant staff time to perform multiple interactions.

"Screening and treating such a large number of people requires many resources. Declaring a public health emergency streamlines the department's ability to quickly secure resources and take additional action to contain the outbreak."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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