The North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Nelson-Griggs District Health Unit are investigating a reported case of active Tuberculosis Disease (TB) in Nelson County.
HHS is working with local public health to provide free testing to those who may have been exposed to this infectious case of TB. All individuals who were exposed have been identified through a contact investigation, have been notified of their exposure and instructed on how and when to be tested for TB infection. The individual with active TB disease has been asked to isolate at home and will continue to do so until their health care provider has determined they are no longer infectious.
TB is a serious but treatable disease that is only infectious in its active state. It is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body such as the brain, lymph nodes, kidneys, bones, joints, larynx, intestines or eyes. Symptoms of TB disease may include cough that lasts for three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum, weakness/fatigue, unintentional weight loss, chills, fever and night sweats. People who are recently infected are generally diagnosed at the stage of latent TB infection. People with TB infection generally exhibit no symptoms and are not able to transmit the infection to others. Antibiotic treatment is used to cure people of both TB disease and TB infection.
TB disease is not spread easily but can be transmitted through droplets if an infectious person coughs or sneezes in close contact with an infected person. An individual cannot get TB from contact with clothes, drinking glass, eating utensils, a handshake, toilet or other surfaces. Infection occurs if an individual has prolonged exposure to someone who has an infectious TB disease.