Tuberculosis is a highly infectious respiratory disease which can be deadly. However, effective treatment is available.More >>
One of those people is Teresa Brenner. Teresa is legally blind and can't see far distances in front of her. She also can't drive and uses the Teleride Van Service five days a week to get to her job and back home. " Sometimes I'm on the bus for an hour to an hour and a half," she exclaimed.
Now she's learned those trips may have exposed her to the germ that causes tuberculosis. One of her bus drivers has tested positive for an active case of TB. " I was instantly scared," Teresa said," My first thought was of a driver that had a constant cough. You can't help but have those images pop into your mind."
The Chatham Area Transit Authority contract with the Teleride Van System. CAT Executive Director, Carl Palmer, says he understands Teresa's concerns." Because of their fragile health and immune system, which may be susceptible to contracting the infection, so we are particularly concerned about that particular group," he explained.
Carl says they have located all 340 people who may have been in contact with the bus driver, and are working to make sure everyone gets tested by sending out a letter. " We have taken the proper steps to assure their safety, health wise. I think people are going to be okay and comfortable with that."
But Teresa isn't feeling all that comfortable. She says she's a little leery of riding the Teleride van service again, but says it's her only way to the job she loves. " I don't have any other resource except to take a cab, and it's 16 bucks to get to my house," she exclaimed. "So what do you do?"
Teresa says she will take her and her son to be tested this week.
The Chatham County Health Department has some good news. The bus driver is doing well and responding to treatment, but cannot return to work for at least a month. If you have any questions or concerns, you can call the Chatham County Health Department at 356-2155.