The Los Angeles County of Public Health has announced that it’s grappling with the largest outbreak of tuberculosis in the region in over a decade, one that’s centered on L.A.’s skid row neighborhood.

There have been 78 confirmed cases of tuberculosis, with 60 of those cases involving L.A.’s homeless population. Since 2009, there have also been 11 TB-related deaths in L.A. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Health workers have identified more than 4,000 people who might have been infected with this particular strain of TB.

In response, the Department of Public Health has announced its working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to curb the TB outbreak and track down the people who have possibly been exposed. At last report, the CDC will conduct an onsite investigation here in L.A. lasting two to three weeks.

L.A.'s skid row neighorhood is home to one of the largest populations of homeless people in the United States. Poor sanitation and residents' lack of access to health care, make its streets fertile ground for communicable diseases like TB.

L.A.’s skid row neighborhood is home to one of the largest populations of homeless people in the United States. Poor sanitation and residents’ lack of access to health care, make its streets fertile ground for communicable diseases like TB.

Many of skid row's residents live in so-called SROs, or single residency occupancy hotels. The hotels and other shelters often ask for proof of a TB test before admitting people.

Many of skid row’s residents live in so-called SROs, or single residency occupancy hotels. The hotels and other shelters often ask for proof of a TB test before admitting people.

More photos and my interviews with skid row residents below:

Public health officials are recommending that those who work with the homeless in shelters and social service agencies also take precautions and think about getting tested.

Public health officials are recommending that those who work with the homeless in shelters and social service agencies also take precautions and think about getting tested.

TB's symptoms include coughing, fatigue, chills and night sweats. The disease can be effectively treated with a months long regimen of medication. Researchers are worried though about newer strains of TB that are drug resistant.

TB’s symptoms include coughing, fatigue, chills and night sweats. The disease can be effectively treated with a months long regimen of medication. Researchers are worried though about newer strains of TB that are drug resistant.

Because of the TB outbreak, the LAPD is recommending that its officers wear face masks and try to avoid close face to face contact when interacting with possilby infecting individuals on skid row.

Because of the TB outbreak, the LAPD is recommending that its officers wear face masks and try to avoid close face to face contact when interacting with possilby infecting individuals on skid row.

How are skid row residents are reacting to the Skid Row outbreak? Listen below.

For more information about tuberculosis and where to go to get tested, visit the Health Department’s TB page here.

 

 

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  • http://www.back-2-work.com/ Mr. Henry

    I think the sheriff need to have some kind of mask which will protect them against the side effect of it.

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