© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tuberculosis Cases Reported in Homeless Shelter

By Kelley Weiss


Kansas City, MO – The health department is investigating Tuberculosis cases found in a Kansas City homeless shelter. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

- - - - -

Last month two people staying at a local homeless shelter were diagnosed with active cases of Tuberculosis, a bacterial disease that usually attacks the lungs. The Kansas City Health Department did TB skin tests on almost 100 people who were in contact with the infected individuals. No one tested had active TB cases.

Ron Griffin, health department division manager for communicable diseases, says the homeless population is susceptible to picking up TB.

Ron Griffin: "Living in close quarters, malnutrition, alcoholism, there are a lot of things that just run the immune system down and people are just more likely to be exposed."

Griffin says the health department will continue to closely monitor homeless shelters for TB to prevent a large outbreak. He says the health department usually treats about 25 cases of TB a year. On average one or two of those patients die from the disease.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Download recent health stories or subscribe to the KCUR Health Podcast

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.