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Hundreds of residents being tested for tuberculosis

Amarillo, TX - Hundreds of people who come in and out of the Potter County Jail are now being tested for tuberculosis.

The Potter County Sheriff's Office tell us preliminary autopsy results for the inmate who died in jail on August 15th show he had tuberculosis.

Now the city is actively testing detention center staff and inmates who were potentially exposed to the disease.

Sometimes you may not test positive for TB even though you have contracted it and that's why follow-up tests will be done eight weeks from now.

Health officials say the inmate had a unique type of infection, due to underlying medical conditions it spread all over his body.

We're told TB is easily treatable and very rarely fatal if diagnosed early.

"We will be sending letters and we will be making phone calls to remind people who might have been exposed to him during his stay and their stay to go get a TB skin test. So we'll be doing that follow-up work. It's a lot of work and it's going to take weeks," says Matt Richardson, Department of Public Health, City of Amarillo.

Results for TB tests take 48 to 72 hours and at that point patients will be alerted if they need to have a chest x-ray done.

The city is closely working with the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services to report any positive cases.

 

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