Tuberculosis at the jail update

Published 4:32 pm Thursday, October 4, 2007

The previous timeline for the stay of the inmate who may be responsible for the spread of tuberculosis in the Pearl River County Jail was incorrect.

Wednesday’s article stated that the window of possible exposure to the inmate who had active tuberculosis stayed at the jail from June 5, to June 13. The actual window of possible exposure was from June 6 to Sept. 13, according to a press release from the Mississippi Health Department. If an inmate was held during that time at the jail and has not been tested they should get tested at the Health Department. Letters are being sent to those who were held at the jail during that time, said Liz Charlotte, Mississippi Health Department Communications director.

The inmate became sick on Sept. 13, not June 13, and was then sent to the hospital. After the inmate went to the hospital he was tested positive with tuberculosis and the jail was then notified.

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The release states that so far 74 inmates and jail staff who had contact with the inmate have tested positive in initial skin testing. Charlotte said generally 20 percent of those who test positive in skin tests are found to not have tuberculosis after chest x-rays are conducted. Chest x-ray results were not available at press time.

Quarantine was not needed at the jail since the inmate who had active tuberculosis had already been removed from the jail, Charlotte said. After jail staff were notified skin testing took place to determine who may have been introduced to the disease. Testing will continue with each person who may have come in contact with active tuberculosis until the Health Department determines further testing is no longer needed, Charlotte said.