Suspected tuberculosis case under investigation in Gaston County

Suspected tuberculosis case under investigation in Gaston County

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Health officials are investigating a suspected case of tuberculosis in Gaston County Friday.

According to the Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), officials are investigating a suspected case of Tuberculosis (TB) in a Gaston County resident.

DHHS says they are currently reaching out to the person’s family members and others that they came in close contact with,including coworkers at a local Olive Garden, to ensure they receive appropriate testing and treatment.

Health officials say there is low risk of exposure to the public as tuberculosis is only spread through direct contact for an extended period of time and not spread through consuming food or drink.

Officials say there is no threat to the public at this time and stated that it is important for the community to understand that a relatively small number of people are likely to have been exposed.

Tuberculosis is a disease that generally develops over weeks to months, and it is completely curable with medications.

The disease often affects the lungs and people who are sick with tuberculosis often have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Cough lasting over three weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fever
  • Profuse sweating at night, often soaking the bed sheets
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Difficulty breathing

However, all of these symptoms can be caused by many other diseases besides tuberculosis.

If there are any questions or concerns regarding the exposure, those affected are advised to contact Khristie Jackson at 704-853-5006.

Dr. Harish Marisiddaiah, a local Infectious Disease Specialist, shared thoughts on the suspected case of tuberculosis Friday.

“We are fortunate that tuberculosis is hard to catch even when exposed to somebody with active tuberculosis. Serious high-risk exposure is considered for people with close prolonged closed in contact with a person with active tuberculosis, like family members who live in the same house or coworkers. Casual contact at a store or in a restaurant is not considered a high risk exposure.
Dr. Harish Marisiddaiah, a local Infectious Disease Specialist, shared,

Dr. Marisiddaiah has been servicing Gaston County for over 20 years and is board-certified in infectious disease.

Gaston County health officials are working closely with state tuberculosis control experts as well as Olive Garden management and would like to reiterate there is no public health threat at this time.

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