Health Department Holds TB Clinics

More than 300 Teleride passengers are continuing to be screened for tuberculosis after a driver for the service tested positive for active TB.

Today the Chatham County Health Department set up a clinic to process the passengers quickly and efficiently. But it's just the first step.

Busload by busload, Teleride passengers pulled up, ready to take their TB tests. All received a letter in the mail, and people like William Mobley were eager to get it done.

" I want to be sure I don't have it," he said. "It's very important, especially with my age. I'm 72."

Most of the passengers who use Teleride are older, and some have debilitating diseases, which is why the health department was concerned about getting the word out.

And it looked like it worked. Chatham County Health department nursing supervisor Staci Fontaine was overwhelmed by the response. But people, like John Gammet of Wilmington Island, had no problem waiting to be tested.

"It's just like sticking your finger with a pin," Gammet told us. "There ain't nothing to it."

But Monday's screening isn't all they'll have to do. Passengers will need to come back to get their results in 48 to 72 hours.

"It's very important, because it helps us with statistics and it lets us track who we need to follow up with a chest X-ray," explained Fontaine.

The chest X-ray will show health officials how far any TB they find has progressed, and what form of treatment will be needed next.

Passenger Mary Johnson is pleased the health department is on top of this health issue. "I come in contact with a lot of people, and some of them I know are sick," she said. "I think everything will be all right, I feel fine."

Teresa Brenner, the Teleride passenger we profiled on Friday (TB Testing Begins), got some good news. Her test came up negative.

The Chatham County Health Department will be holding TB clinics tomorrow and Wednesday. Teleride will be providing free rides for those passengers who need to be screened.

And for more information on tuberculosis, check here: Quick Facts: Tuberculosis.

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti,