Health Department Flooded With TB Calls - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/17/07

Health Department Flooded With TB Calls

Yesterday the Chatham County Health Department announced a bus driver with the Teleride Van Service has tested positive for an active case of Tuberculosis. She's at home recovering, but now the Chatham Area Transit System, who contracts with Teleride, is trying to track down passengers who may have ridden on her bus.

The health department, along with CAT officials, has identified 340 passengers who rode with this bus driver from the beginning of January to the end of April. All of them will be receiving a letter in the mail, some will also be getting phone calls.

On Thursday, the Health Department was flooded with over a hundred phone calls, people wondering if they should be tested.

Health Officials say only those who receive a letter or a phone call will need to go to the health department to get a simple skin test, like the ones they gave out to mercer middle school last year.

Nurses will inject a small amount of a protein derivative of tuberculosis under the skin. Passengers will need to come back two days later to let nurses look at it again. "And we can tell if there's a certain size bump there, whether or not they were exposed to TB. It's really a simple test and we can use that to determine if they need to go on and have more screening tests done and possibly some treatment," said Ginger Heidel with the Chatham County Health Department.

The Chatham County Health Department will hold it's tb screenings on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. To make an appointment you can call the health department at 356-2155. Teleride will provide free transportation to the health department for those affected.

Reported By: Melanie A. Ruberti; mruberti@wtoc.com

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