Tuberculosis Outbreak Linked to California Casino Prompts Bay Area Health Officials to Encourage Testing

The announcement comes after 11 individuals linked to the California Grand Casino, in Pacheco, California, tested positive for tuberculosis

<p>California Grand Casino/Facebook</p> California Grand Casino in Pacheco, California

California Grand Casino/Facebook

California Grand Casino in Pacheco, California

A tuberculosis outbreak linked to a casino has been reported in California, according to public health officials.

In a press release, the Contra Costa Health Dept. is recommending a tuberculosis test for anyone who spent time at the California Grand Casino in Pacheco, Calif., since 2018. The announcement comes after 11 individuals, including casino staff and customers, tested positive for the illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, tuberculosis spreads through the air from one person to another. When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, the bacteria can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain.

Symptoms of TB include a cough that lasts for 3 weeks or longer, chest pain and and coughing up blood.

Related: California Spa Closed After Two Customers Die from Legionnaires’ Disease

"We are making this recommendation now because there is new evidence that TB may have spread among people who spent time at the casino from 2018 to 2023," Meera Sreenivasan, deputy health officer for Contra Costa County, said in the press release.

"TB can live inside someone for years without showing signs of its presence," she added. "That is why it's important to take a test, even if you do not feel sick. TB can cause serious illness, but it is treatable and curable with medicine, especially when caught early."

Health officials says they've contacted more than 300 people who may have been exposed to active TB at the casino. They are currently working with California Grand management to provide health education to staff and to encourage testing.

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