Tuberculosis Cluster Found in Grand Forks County - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Update: Tuberculosis Cluster Found in Grand Forks County

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There's some concern tonight in Grand Forks county over a trio of tuberculosis cases. Public Health officials confirm that it's an active form of the disease, and there's potential more people could be infected. It's leaving many wondering where the disease was contracted.

Northlands Rescue Mission advocate, Viann Olson, says, "You see colds and flues and stuff."

It's easy for sickness to spread around close quarter like a homeless shelter. That's why Olson says the shelter pays close attention.

"All of our residents do a TB test within a the first three days they're here," says Olson.

And a recent cluster of three people in Grand Forks County having active tuberculosis has caused a scare and rumors. The three people all have similar acquaintances and have no permanent address, making many think the outbreak is at the shelter.

Olson says, "Maybe it's an assumption. I don't know."

While the shelter has 5 to 10 people staying there with inactive TB, which does not pose a threat to the public, they are not the three people involved with the active cluster.

Delbert Streitz with Grand Forks Public Health says, "Sometimes people talk about a disease, and presume somebody has it, but they actually don't have it."

Streitz says they're looking into where the outbreak started. They've contacted people who may have come in contact with the disease and testing them to see if they've contracted it. And even though more cases may come out, Public Health says the public should not be worried.

Streitz says, "It's not like a huge outbreak. It's just significant that we have a small group within a geographical area."

Public Health officials says it is possible others could have come in contact with the disease without knowing it. Some of the symptoms are feeling sick or weak, having a cough that lasts longer than three weeks and coughing up blood. Get tested if you think you have it. The good news, it is treatable.


  The State Health Department is investigating a cluster of tuberculosis cases in Grand Forks County.

   All three cases involve men. One man in his 20's and two others in their 40's.

  The cases involve homeless people, who are not associated with the Grand Forks Mission.

  A public spokesperson for the City of Grand Forks says, the cases should not cause any concern for the general public.

John Bernstrom: "The health officials are contacting people that may be at risk or had any contact with these people. There is no concern to the public… were you in a certain area, at a certain location… anything like that."

 Tuberculosis is a lung disease that is spread from person to person through the air, when someone with TB has coughed or sneezed into the air, usually in an indoor environment.



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