On January 13, 2012, The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana reported one confirmed case of drug resistant Tuberculosis in Allen County. A student of Anthis Career Center had been diagnosed as having active TB in December, 2011. As a result, 150 students in Fort Wayne Community Schools have been tested as a precaution. Another round of skin patch testing will be performed after eight weeks to confirm no additional cases.
From the Centers for Disease Control website:
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
TB is NOT spread by
- shaking someone’s hand
- sharing food or drink
- touching bed linens or toilet seats
- sharing toothbrushes
You can be exposed to tuberculosis and not develop symptoms. This is because your body is able to fight the bacteria and keep it from growing. A positive skin test may reveal “Latent TB Infection.” These individuals are not contagious. TB symptoms may develop later in life when the immune system is compromised. TB can make you sick and death may occur if left untreated.
From a preparedness standpoint, your best defense to the disease is to keep your immune system functioning normally. If you are not exercising, then find a plan and stick with it. Challenge yourself to eat a healthier diet. If you smoke, commit to quitting. Some people herald the use of supplements such as regular use Vitamin C and taking zinc at the beginnings of a cold. Getting adequate bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids daily is also prudent. These are simple changes to your daily regimen that may save your life. At the very least, you will feel better (and consequently, more prepared to face any scenario) and have the benefit of potentially adding years to your life.
Don’t forget to have on hand a supply of N95 or P100 masks. These are available in a variety of sizes and from multiple sellers on the internet as well as Amazon