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Douglas County Health identifies over 500 possible exposures to tuberculosis at Westview YMCA daycare

Posted at 11:25 AM, Nov 10, 2023
  • Over 500 possible exposures to a case of Active Tuberculosis
  • Westview YMCA drop-in daycare
  • Douglas County Health identifying those who had close contact

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

The Douglas County Health Department learned of a confirmed case of active tuberculosis on Tuesday. They quickly partnered with Westview YMCA and learned of more than 500 possible exposures.

"We immediately consulted with our medical adviser, knowing that children are at higher risk for severe disease and rapid onset of tuberculosis,” said Justin Frederick, deputy director of Douglas County Health Department.

The exposures may have happened at the facility's drop-in daycare, known as Childwatch.

"Parents of exposed children will have received a letter from the YMCA that either says whether their children were exposed, and the date that the exposure happened, or if they were not exposed," said Dr. Lindsay Huse, health director, Douglas County Health Department.

The time frame of exposure is from late spring into late October.

There will be a clinic on Saturday and Sunday at Children's Nebraska for kids who were exposed in the last ten weeks and are under the age of four.

And the Douglas County Health Department will hold clinics next week at the Westview YMCA, for kids over the age of five or kids exposed more than ten weeks ago, from late May until Aug. 21.

"If you develop tuberculosis disease, it does not go away without treatment, so it's critical and it especially critical with young children," said Frederick.

Tuberculosis facts shared from Douglas County Health Department press release:

  • Tuberculosis is treatable.
  • TB cases are relatively rare, but DCHD is experienced at managing them. Douglas County had 15 confirmed cases in 2022 and had 15 cases through September of this year. The CDC has reported more than 8,000 cases this year in the United States.
  • Symptoms include a cough that lasts for multiple weeks, chest pain, coughing up blood or sputum, weakness/fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever, and night sweats.

"The key here is that those symptoms, it's not like a cold where you know you have it for three days and it goes away, symptoms of tuberculosis tend to linger for quite some time and then even progress and get worse as time goes on," said Dr. Huse.
If you are a parent with questions, call 402-444-3400 to reach the Douglas County Health Department.