A Capital Region postal worker was positive to a tuberculosis test.
- Postal worker did jobs in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.
The Health Department is providing tuberculosis test to individual who potentially exposed to Postal worker positive with tuberculosis test. Investigation was also done to determine any contact with this person and will closely work with Postal Service medical staff.
According to Elizabeth Whalen, Albany County Health Commissioner, “There is no immediate danger to staff, Tuberculosis exposure is NOT immediately life threatening nor an emergency.” Exposure to tuberculosis results in illness in only a small number of healthy people “. It is curable and not life threatening.
Tuberculosis or TB (short for tubercle bacillus), in the past also called phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, or consumption, is a widespread, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. Most infections do not have symptoms, known as latent tuberculosis. About one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.
The classic symptoms of active TB infections are a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss (the latter giving rise to the formerly common term for the disease, “consumption”). Infection of other organs causes a wide range of symptoms. Diagnosis of active TB relies on radiology (commonly chest X-rays), as well as microscopic examination microbiological culture of body fluids. Diagnosis of latent TB relies on the tuberculin skin test (TST) and/or blood tests. Treatment is difficult and requires administration of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. Social contacts are also screened and treated if necessary. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) infections. Prevention relies on screening programs and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.
Tuberculosis may infect any part of the body, but most commonly occurs in the lungs (known as pulmonary tuberculosis). Extrapulmonary TB occurs when tuberculosis develops outside of the lungs, although extrapulmonary TB may coexist with pulmonary TB, as well.
General signs and symptoms include fever, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. Significant nail clubbing may also occur. Tuberculosis test is advised when signs and symptoms are encountered.IMAGE/Virginia Department of Health