by Grand Forks Herald
November 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm in Grand Forks Herald
Health officials are continuing to monitor the outbreak of tuberculosis in Grand Forks County announced last week, said Public Health Director Don Shields on Monday.
Tags: GF and EGF, North Dakota, public health, TB, tuberculosis, updates 33 Comments »
““They are not refugees and not an immigrant family,” Shields said Monday. “They are folks who are homeless and don’t have an address here in Grand Forks. They are Americans. They traveled through here and stayed with friends, and (TB) passed from them to” members of the family in the house.”
Have they been located and quarantined? Or are they continuing to spread this disease unchecked?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 39 15
You have touched on a very touchy subject in American public health. While possible, it is extremely difficult to physically quarantine and forceably medicate people against their will. Think Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union.
In America you have the right to refuse treatment. Part of the reason for the continued growth of TB and the development of multiple drug resitant strains of TB is people who do not complete their course of medication (usually 6 months to a year).
Go back to those groups we have identified as high risk: homeless and jail and nursing home patients. If you are homeless you hae more pressing concerns (usually the search for alcohol or drugs or chronic pyschosis). If you are in jail, you may take your drugs there, but once you are released you are either homeless or in some other place that will not necessarily monitor you.
Were they identified? Treated? Are they continuing with their treatment? It is anyone’s guess.
There have been numerous cases of people with HIV/AIDS trying to take as many people with them when they died. Public health could not stop them so the courts started charging them with attempted murder: with decidedly mixed results.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 4
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flyingnurse, so when your child comes home with TB or some deadly disease you won’t mind?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 14 28
Your question makes no sense.
I am in no way trying to be rude or insult you, but just because you discovered a problem (read the story) does not make it a crisis worthy of rewriting the constitution (which is what it would take to make sure you were never exposed).
Public health officials have been dealing with this problem for literally centuries. In America you have the right to refuse treatment, it is as simple as that.
In order to eradicate TB we would have to have mandatory testing of every man, woman, and child in the United States twice a year and forced treatment of those found infected.
Since the people most likely to be infected are also those hardest to treat, we would have to lock up a huge number of American citizens. Good thing pot is becoming legal because we will need the jail space for TB patients who do not want to take their meds.
My kids go to GF schools. The difference is I have known all along they were being exposed to every form of badness the world has to offer. It is simply part of my job to know this. I am used to it.
Really want to lose sleep? Go ask the Fire Department what travels through GF every day by train and every second under our streets by pipeline. After you finish hyperventilating and throwing up in the trash can, take out a map and see where those train tracks and pipelines run.
You guessed it, UND with 14,000 kids on one side and Altru, the only hospital in 60 miles on the other.
When I used to be part of the emergency planning process I would shake my head. If we ever have a major derailment of some of the hazardous materials traveling through our town day after day, the death toll will be astronomical.
We will definitely make the national news.
It is the price you pay for living in an industrialized world.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 7
About the HazMat going through GF (rail & highway).
Minot, ND found out the hard way…
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 18 1
I am pointing out that the price of ignoring it, when you discover a deadly disease is manifesting itself, will be someones child dying. I am sure they will be reassured that no ones “constitutional” right to avoid testing has been violated. If a disease is popping up in an area then you test and if necessary quarantine those who have it to protect the population. No ones rights are violated. The issue is public safety and common sense. If smallpox made a reoccurance I can bet you that your objections would be swept aside and there would be quarantine zones.
To make it more clear. There is a growing TB problem in GFS. There needs to be a quick reaction, testing, and isolation as needed. You don’t have to be a doctor to come up with that conclusion.
Like or Dislike: 16 3
Jake: you might be surprised to find I agree with you. Unfortunately society does not. As I pointed out, this is not a new problem. The struggle between individual liberties & public safety has been occurring since before we were officially a country.
The courts can quarantine & forcibly treat people, but it is a very long & arduous process. The biggest problem is treatment is needed for a very long time. How do you insure compliance?
Greater minds than us have struggled & failed with this very subject.
TB is fairly easy to diagnose & treat. There is a growing body of evidence that shows if AIDS had been treated as a public health problem instead of a political football (thanks Nancy Reagan & Jerry Falwell) we might not have the problems we have now.
Like or Dislike: 10 3
I’m a bit like Carlin in his bit where he says as a kid him and his buddies used to swim in the river with all that good old unfiltered industrial waste. Germs tried to get in to their bodies, but never had a chance with germ orgy already taking place………….I’ve been around so much toxic crap all my life, that I think I have a pretty tough immune system…Then again I might just keel over from a massive germ attack someday….
Like or Dislike: 5 2
And … finish the story. Where did the infected person contact the disease? You threw us under the bus but that doesn’t mean we were wrong. The disease was spread to this carrier by someone else. Who? How far does the GFHD go to end the spread of this disease? There’s the next story.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 8
I am not sure what you are asking Devil. As we discussed during the previous thread, TB exists in every county in every state in the US and has for centuries. It is not something that just showed up.
In order to “stop” the spread would require mandatory testing of every American twice a year. It would also require forced treatment. Given the populations involve, that would be almost impossible short of incarceration (TB concentration camps).
You are not going to stop it anytime soon.
Because I am high risk because of who I work with, I have to be tested twice a year. I am rare, I have been doing this for 30 years and have not converted to positive. My mother and wife (both nurses) did and were required to take antibiotics for a year each. Just an unintended consequence of doing the job.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 2
For the historical perspective, google: consumption. That is the old term for TB. Many of our founding fathers and their families died of it. In the 1850 one out of every four deaths in London was due to TB. Similar stats can be found in New York, Boston, etc.
Remember: people jammed together with poor ventilation and weakened immune systems. Anywhere you have that you have TB
Like or Dislike: 15 2
She’s asking for the truth and a thorough investigation not a long-winded speech from a member of the PC crowd.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 14 24
That is the truth Sarge. Just because you do not like it does not change that fact.
As the article plainly stated, there are new TB cases every year in GF. What makes this case different from the one last year or the one 6 months before that?
You having simply discovered there is a problem in no way makes it a crisis. As I said above, public health officials have been dealing with this very same problem for centuries. Where have you been?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 5
I am thankful for this follow up story. It basically confirmed what we discussed on a previous thread.
I was one to those who thought is was an immigrant family. Where I argued with other frequent posters is I said they contracted it on this side of the pond since they are tested extensively before entry.
I was greatful to see the article spread light in this darkness. As previously detailed, the three most dangerous places in GF or any other town are homeless shelters, jail/prison, and nursing homes.
I do appreciate them specifically stating the carriers were American. I am for anything that lessons the knee jerk xenophobia we are all guilty at one time or another.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 7
Why all the secrecy? The PC crowd is going to get us all killed. They probably think that’s “fair.”
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 27
Federal law Kevin. Been on the books for generations with periodic updates; the last being HIPPA.
This is the same law that prevents me from accessing your medical records & sharing them on FaceBook.
These laws have been a mainstay of medicine since Hippocrities. Long before the term PC was coined.
As usual your argument has great emotional appeal with very little factual substance.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 9
Unless your real name contains the initial M.D. after it, we don’t really benefit from your constant input Nurse.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 23 41
I guess the Constitution of the United States is just a guide to being PC to you and your Conservative minority if it doesn’t match your complaint of the day.
Like or Dislike: 2 1
If you want to help curb TB (and other diseases) how about this.
Secure the southern border.
How many diseases, viruses, etc. are coming across our “open” southern border.
Hot debate. What do you think? 30 24
Robert. So if a Native American is diagnosed with TB, will people like you leave our country? They were here first. Hysterical offensive comments don’t serve us at all.
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 18
Articles have been written on this very subject. Check the internet. Notable newspapers have covered this story. It’s a problem and ignoring it won’t make it go away.
Like or Dislike: 9 5
What did the Native Americans have to do with this???
I am referring to the souther border.
The souther border of the US is not very secure. Drugs crossing and illegal immigrants from Central and South America and who know where else.
If you have anybody and everybody coming in, you are going to get diseases, viruses, etc.
Like or Dislike: 10 6
Robert, you miss my point. All these cases have been identified as homeless people or people who have been sharing living quarters. None are immigrants. So drop the close the border nonsense. Native Americans have TB in our country. The country they were living in long before my and presumably your ancestors moved to.
Like or Dislike: 2 3
The unsecure southern border is causing major problems for the US.
If you do not believe me, talk to the North Dakotans and Minnesotans that snow bird there. These snowbirds move to Arizona for the winter. When they return in the spring, ask them about the unsecure border there.
Like or Dislike: 4 4
Okay, 2 more children now have TB. How long do we wait before taking it seriously? How many children have to get it before we do what is necessary?
Like or Dislike: 8 12
Jake: exactly what do you propose doing that is not already being done?
Like or Dislike: 12 7
As the story was quick to point out, no unrelated children have turned positive – thank God. Hopefully this outbreak will be contained to the one household.
Some people just want to deport someone so they’ll feel better about this. Nevermind that nobody knows if the homeless family is from mexico or minot.
Like or Dislike: 13 11
They were “Americans.” That denotes citizenship. Maybe the hysteria crowd wants to declare them enemy combatants and put them in Guantanamo?
Like or Dislike: 13 7
There are several “Americas” on the globe. Which America were these people born?
Hot debate. What do you think? 13 21
This kind of thing will happen when people don’t have the health coverage they need to practice preventative medicine. A universal health care system would provide that everyone get the proper testing and vacinations to end these outbreaks. People who have no coverage are a health threat to the rest of us.
Do note that the tuberculosis vaccine is not generally used in the U.S.
Also, North Dakota has about 3-12 cases of active TB every year and far more latent (no symptoms, not contagious) cases of TB–574 in 2010.
Vaccines are more of an issue with pertussis.
Like or Dislike: 6 0
Guess now that the figting Sioux issue is dead the Herald had to drum up some other sensationalism to have the rabid readers in an uproar so they will keep tuning in. Why else use the term “homeless visistors.” What difference does it make how TB was brought into the school–let public health deal with it as they are equipped with the knowledge to do so.
Like or Dislike: 0 2
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