Moultrie-- Now, health workers are sending letters and conducting tests on people who may have been exposed. Most of them are hospital employees, patients or former patients at Colquitt Regional.
Over the weekend, letters went out to patients who were admitted to the hospital from mid-January through June, asking them to be tested for Tuberculosis.
That's when a worker at Colquitt Regional Medical center became ill, coughing up blood and went to the ER. A culture confirmed he had active TB which meant other people could get sick.
Tuesday began the first part of testing for the disease at Willie Williams Middle School. All patients and employees who came in contact with the worker are asked to get tested.
"It is a very curable disease, so that's why we want to make sure we screen everybody and we know if they have been exposed to TB or have the TB germ so we can treat them and prevent the disease, or if in fact they have the disease we can effect a cure rather quickly," said Brenda Greene of the District Health Office.
Most outpatient surgery, labor and delivery and Emergency room patients are excluded, because of their isolation from other areas of the hospital. The bottom line is if you received a letter asking that you be tested, get tested. You could have TB and not show symptoms for years, just like the employee who recently became ill. If you didn't receive a letter, you don't need to worry.
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to TB, call the hotline at 1-888-430-4590, explain your situation, and they will inform you if you need to be tested or not. Testing is free.