Riverside County resident tests positive for active TB

Friday, October 27

October 27, 2023

Media Contact: Arianne Murphy
RUHS- Public Health
Public Information Specialist
Cell: 951.470.5489
Email: amurphy@ruhealth.org

Angela Meluski
California Baptist University
Phone: 951-343-4474
Email: ameluski@calbaptist.edu

Riverside County resident tests positive for active TB

Riverside County public health officials are contacting members of the public who interacted with an individual who has tested positive for active tuberculosis (TB). The potential exposure period is between September 5 and October 16, 2023. The individual is being treated and is expected to recover.

Among the individual’s affiliations is California Baptist University in Riverside. Riverside University Health System-Public Health (RUHS-PH) is working closely with university officials to identify and notify an estimated 150 people who may have had close contact with the individual. The university approximately has 15,580 faculty, staff and students.

These individuals received an electronic notice from Public Health and the university, informing them of the exposure and next steps for testing.

The disease spreads through the air during prolonged, repeated and close contact with someone who is infected with active TB. Symptoms can include a persistent cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss. In most cases, people infected with TB have a latent infection that does not progress to active tuberculosis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8,300 TB cases were reported in the United States in 2022, which represents 2.5 cases per 100,000 persons.

It is currently unknown where the individual contracted the disease. A contact investigation is ongoing and Public Health is working with and monitoring others who reside or who have close contact with the infected person.

Students, staff and faculty who are not considered at risk were notified of the case and informed that TB testing is only recommended for individuals identified as potentially exposed.

“While the risk of infection is low, it is recommended that individuals who receive the exposure notification letter be tested,” said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, public health officer for Riverside County.

"The testing is quick and can provide peace of mind for both individuals and their families,” Leung said. “Once the test is administered, the individual will need to come back in two days to have it read by a health care worker.”

If the skin test reads positive, the individual will need to get a chest X-ray and follow up with Public Health. Another option for detection is a TB blood test.

Read here for more information about TB symptoms, testing and treatment.