Tuberculosis case confirmed at MTA facility

August 20, 2010 7:02:55 PM PDT
The New York City Health Department is investigating a confirmed case of tuberculosis at an MTA facility.

A worker at an MTA depot in Brooklyn came down with TB.

Another worker at the site may also have the highly contagious disease.

The health department will visit the depot on Monday to interview and examine other workers.

The New York City Health Department commented on the tuberculosis case saying: "The Health Department is aware of a confirmed case of tuberculosis in an MTA worker and is continuing to investigate the case. We are also aware of one suspected case associated with the same work site. While TB cases continue to decline each year in New York City, these investigations are routine. The Health Department is coordinating with the MTA and NYC Transit to educate people associated with the work site on Monday. Whenever an active case of TB is diagnosed and reported, the Health Department works quickly to educate people at risk, offer testing and treatment if appropriate, and prevent the spread of infection."

Additional Information and Resources:

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that spreads from person to person through the air. People sick with pulmonary TB expel TB germs into the air when they cough, sneeze, or speak. In the right conditions, other people may breathe in the TB germs, and some of these may become infected.

Infected individuals are not sick and cannot spread the infection. Most people do not develop TB disease; however, some infected individuals do become ill later with active TB disease. TB infection and TB disease are treatable and curable.

Brief contact with people who are sick with TB is unlikely to cause infection. TB is not spread by shaking hands, sharing food or having sex. The infection is usually spread through close, daily and prolonged contact. People at high risk can stop TB by getting themselves tested and taking treatment to prevent TB disease.

Who Should Get Tested for TB

- People who have symptoms of active TB (coughing, sweating, fatigue, weight loss, fever).

- People who have spent a long time with someone who has active TB disease (a family member, friend, or co-worker).

- People who have come recently from a country with a high rate of TB.

- People who have HIV infection, lowered immunity, or certain medical conditions such as diabetes or chronic kidney failure.

- People who have worked or lived in a homeless shelter, prison or other group setting.