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Florida surgeon general: Jacksonville TB outbreak not a public threat

Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong said the state’s Department of Health is still identifying and screening Jacksonville resident who may have come into contact with people infected with tuberculosis. But he also wanted to assure people who may live in or visit the area that they are not in harm’s way.

“The people of Jacksonville and of Duval county remain safe,” he told members of media during a conference call Friday morning.

The Jacksonville outbreak is among the worst the nation has seen in many years, and over a dozen people have died. However, the strain causing the infections is both treatable and traceable, Armstrong said.

Efforts continue to identify and screen people who may have come in contact with people with active infections.

So far, the state has tested 93 percent of “named contacts,” people with can be identified by name as people who TB patients had direct contact with. However, the state has only tested 53 percent of 2,100 “location contacts,” people who were in the same building as someone who had TB.

Health officials also tested virtually the entire homeless population in Duval County. As a result, they found one active case of TB and 311 latent cases, meaning people had infections but were not sick or contagious. That number represents 10 percent of the homeless population.

So far, the state has spent $185,000 to support the investigation. It is also anticipating a $250,000 supplemental grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Armstrong said the state is reviewing how it has handled the outbreak, first brought to the public’s attention after a scathing Palm Beach Post article. Already, he has created an Office of Public Records Requests, and the Office of Performance Improvement continues to look into the matter.

Comments

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Can't Take Anymore

Another hack Scott appointee comes forward to tell the public that "all is well" and they have nothing to worry about. These guys just don't seem to realize that public programs and facilities for public health and safety were not created simply to advance some type of socialist agenda but to protect the public. Their basic goal in office is to eliminate all state infrastructure they possibly can. They are convinced that the so-called free market will regulate all things, including dangerous bacteria and viruses.

whasup

If the "public health and safety" ideology were ever given free reign among our government officials, they would ban cars, close most restaurants or ban half or more of what they serve, abolish whole categories of foods and beverages in the grocery stores, shut down most of our power and chemical plants, and put all those who drink or smoke in glass-enclosed concentration camps.

The problem is that too many people confuse the seriousness of a potential outcome with the actual risk of something happening. The ranks of public health and safety government employees and advocates are filled with folks who mistake outcomes with probabilities.

Beyond that, propagandism thrives among these people. If you doubt that, look at the vast majority of studies of health and environmental risks and notice how they rarely report the actual risk of something bad happening from some "exposure" but love to report the relative risk of that exposure.

For example, instead of saying there is a 1% chance of the bad result, they emphasize that the exposed people have a 30% higher chance of the bad result. It wouldn't really help their public health socialist cause to report "if you do x, your risk of y increases from 1% to 1.3%"!

Can't Take Anymore

Gee, Zup. Using your logic I guess smoking cigarettes would be an approved cure for West Nile Virus. Republicans only approve of the limited amount of science with which they agree.

Hoffman Institute

whasup I have to agree people are more likely to rally around the 30% than the 1.3% 30 just sounds so much more of a problem. It just makes sense to feel in danger around 30% so it makes sense that they would use that as their information to get us to be worried.

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