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Former daycare worker could have exposed 41 Hamilton County kids to tuberculosis

Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 18:36:16-05

CINCINNATI -- A former daycare worker with pulmonary tuberculosis could potentially have exposed more than 50 people to infectious bacteria, according to Hamilton County Health Department spokesman Mike Samet.

Samet said the worker, who lives on the West Side of Hamilton County, was receiving treatment and recovering from the disease. However, from the time of infection, she interacted closely with 41 children, seven fellow staff members and four family members who could have contracted tuberculosis during their interactions.

Each household with a member who was exposed to the pathogen had received a hand-delivered letter by Friday, Samet said, and Hamilton County officials would hold testing clinics for those people between Feb. 19-23. 

Pulmonary tuberculosis is an infection of the lungs that can cause chest pain, recurring coughing and, if left untreated, extensive damage to lung tissue or the nearby pulmonary artery. 

Although tuberculosis can be fatal and was a popular disease for doomed dramatic heroines in the 1800s, when it was known as "consumption," modern medicine includes a number of effective treatments and vaccinations against the illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than 5 percent of Americans infected with tuberculosis in 2016 died of the infection.

Mason Community Center Kids Korner attendees experienced a similar case in August 2017, according to Warren County officials.