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TB Outbreak In Northwoods Highly Unlikely


National Public Radio recently reported a number of tuberculosis cases were confirmed in the Sheboygan area this spring. A Northwoods public health nurse says there is no widespread outbreak and nothing reported here.


The Sheboygan outbreak was found in an immigrant family. Officials quickly jumped in, and now think it's contained. Officials think Sheboygan could end up with 15 symptomatic cases and up to 200 people infected with the resistant strain but not yet showing symptoms.

Oneida County Public Health Nurse Charlotte Ahrens says state health officials told her the situation is under control..

"....that case in Sheboygan has been contained, and all those identified and all those in close contact with the family have been screened. They will be screened again, per protocol just to be sure. There have been no secondary infections identified...."

Ahrens says the disease was brought under control in the U.S. by rapid response and frequent testing, along with drugs that help some forms of the disease.

She says it's rare in Oneida county...

"....statewide the case rate ends up being one case per 100,000 people. In the northern region here, we have had a case rate of less than one percent per every 100,000 in population...."

While some forms are treatable, advanced tuberculosis can destroy lungs, damage other organs and cause death.

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