Los Angeles Tuberculosis Outbreak Generates Federal Government Help
The Los Angeles Times also reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have sent out scientists to help Los Angeles health officials figure out how to prevent the spreading of the disease.
Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium that infects the lungs and can affect other parts of the body. The disease can be spread by coughing. People on skid row tend to live in highly populated areas and are contact with several people in poor living conditions, which could be one of the reasons for the outbreak.
Due to their living conditions which include poor hygiene and limited access to doctors, homeless people have the greatest risk of contracting the virus. 11 people have died from tuberculosis in Los Angeles since 2007, including several of them who live around skid row. Additionally, close to 80 cases of the disease were confirmed in that same time period.
Just four years ago, tuberculosis cases in California were at a record low with a rate of seven people infected out of 100,000. In fact, the rates of people contracting the disease have been decreasing worldwide. Treatments are available for tuberculosis, and it usually lasts between six and nine months.