Health Department: Inmate tests positive for tuberculosis

Jail Cell
(WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana health officials announced Friday that an inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility tested positive for active tuberculosis (TB) disease.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the inmate was transferred to the Miami Correctional Facility into an isolated room. He has already started the standard four-drug treatment regimen. Staff at the jail will wear protective masks until the inmate is no longer infectious.

Officials said all transfers in and out of Pendleton have been temporarily suspended and all offenders who have been screened for TB are currently on non-contact visits, pending the outcome of testing.

TB is a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs. It can also attack other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine and brain. The disease is spread through the air from one person to another.

TB can be deadly and there is no vaccine for it.

ISDH said Indiana experienced 94 cases of TB disease in 2013 and 102 in 2012. Every year, there are two to four deaths in the state as a result of TB. Health officials said more than 90 percent of people who are diagnosed with TB are cured.

For more information on the disease, click here.

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