Out of an abundance of caution, officials at the County of Riverside Department of Public Health are mailing letters today to patients who may have been exposed to tuberculosis after a patient was diagnosed at the Kaiser Permanente Riverside Hospital with the illness.
RIVERSIDE Calif., December 31, 2014 - A patient at Kaiser Permanente Riverside Hospital has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis, and the hospital is working with county health officials to contact those who might have been exposed to the illness.
The individual is being treated.
The County of Riverside Department of Public Health is working with hospital officials to identify patients, physicians, and staff who may have been potentially exposed and will be advising that they be screened for TB. The screening consists of a TB skin test, followed by a chest x-ray if the test is positive.
“The risk of transmission is low,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county health officer. “TB testing is being recommended as a precautionary measure.”
No other staff member, physician, or patient has tested positive for the illness. All hospital employees and physicians are required to be tested annually for TB. Kaiser Permanente Riverside Hospital self-reported the illness to the California Department of Public Health-Licensing and Certification.
Tuberculosis is a disease spread by close, prolonged contact with an individual who has active tuberculosis. People can become infected with TB by breathing air exhaled by someone who is sick with TB.
Left untreated, TB can result in serious complications. Common symptoms include a productive cough with phlegm, unexplained weight loss, fever, and fatigue. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. A person with inactive (latent) TB cannot spread the TB bacteria to others.
People who are concerned about TB can contact their health care provider or the Public Health Department Disease Control at (951) 358-5107.
Kaiser Permanente members who are concerned can contact Member Services at 1-800-464-4000.
For additional information about tuberculosis, visit the Department of Public Health’s website www.rivco-diseasecontrol.org
About Kaiser Permanente Riverside:
Kaiser Permanente opened its medical center in Riverside in 1989 and its hospital in Moreno Valley in 2008. Currently, we provide care for over 393,000 members throughout Riverside County. Over 480 physicians care for our members at 9 medical facilities and at Kaiser Permanente’s Riverside Medical Center and Moreno Valley Medical Center. Riverside Medical Center is licensed for 226 beds. Moreno Valley Medical Center has 101 licensed beds.