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Worker tests positive for TB

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October 4, 2006

Camilla -- The Southwest Georgia Health Department has confirmed a case of tuberculosis at a major chicken processing plant in Mitchell County.  

Now, dozens of Equity Group employees have been tested for the infectious disease, to ensure the disease doesn't spread throughout the plant.  

Mitchell County's Equity Group- formerly Cagle's- employs several hundred people. A male employee in the plant tested positive for TB in the last few days.  

The USDA says since the disease is airborne, it doesn't affect the chicken at the plant and it should be safe. They do suggest, as always, to practice precaution when handling chicken, properly wash it, and wash your hands.

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that usually attack the lungs. But it can spread to any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.  

TB is spread through the air from one person to another and was once the leading cause of death in the United States. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. People who are not sick have what is called latent TB infection.

People with active TB disease are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day. This includes family members, friends, and coworkers.

More than 14,000 cases were reported in 2003 in the United States.

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