ADPH working to stop tuberculosis outbreak in Perry County

TB PICTURE

MARION, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Public Health is working to stop a tuberculosis outbreak in Perry County.

More than 250 Perry County residents have been screened for tuberculosis since Monday, and health officials in Marion expect another 250 to get their blood tested by Wednesday. Our camera was not allowed inside of the Perry County Health Department, but many people outside the facility were wearing face masks for protection.

Cheryl Williams was one of many Marion residents who came in Wednesday morning to get tested for TB.

“I feel like it is a personal responsibility and I owe it to myself and the people of this community to be here and to be safe. So when I walk around nobody is afraid to come near me,” Williams said.

Health officials are offering cash as motivation for residents to get screened for tuberculosis.

Pam Barrett from the Alabama Department of Public Health is urging as many residents as possible to get tested.

“Well we just want people to take the opportunity to take care of themselves and be healthy. They can prevent the active development of TB if they will be screened to know if they are infected. Then we can prevent you from active TB,” Barrett said.

26 patients have been diagnosed with tuberculosis, and 20 are from Marion. Three adults have died as a result of the illness.

During the month of January, tuberculosis testing will be done Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

There will be a town hall meeting at Marion High School Thursday at 6:30 p.m. There, residents will get updates on the outbreak and give them the opportunity to ask questions.

Copyright 2016 WIAT CBS 42

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