FREMONT – Three Rivers Public Health Department received a report of a patient who tested positive for tuberculosis at Fremont Health near the end of October.
According to the department the patient tested positive on October 29th and was transferred to Nebraska Medicine. The patient subsequently died at the facility. Executive Director Terra Uhing says Three Rivers Public Health Department is already initiating a plan to address post-exposure assessment, and also give treatment for anyone exposed to the patient if needed.
“Right now we are in the process of investigating all of the close contact and contact information of our patient. We are getting in contact with those individuals to determine what kind of contact there was,” said Uhing. “If they meet the certain criteria, they will come in for a TB test. If that test is negative they’ll come back in eight to ten weeks and have another test conducted.”
Tuberculosis is an infection of the lungs that results in a cough and sputum production. Those exposed to an infected with tuberculosis generally have a prolonged incubation period. Patients who get infected most often take weeks to months to develop symptoms.
The department will arrange for evaluation and screening tests this coming week in regards to this issue. While there are still many questions regarding the circumstances of this instance, public health officials are getting answers. Uhing says tuberculosis is uncommon and believes there is no reason for people to worry. She adds the department will continue to release information as they receive it.
“Safety is our number one priority here. I’m confident in our abilities to carry out the investigation,” said Uhing. “As soon as we have any more up-to-date information we’ll let everyone know.”
Anyone with questions or concerns can call Three Rivers Public Health Department at (402) 727-5396.