Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office said Monday an inmate had tested positive for TB and the results were sent to the Centers for Disease Control.
Public health officials say it takes as long as eight weeks to officially confirm a TB diagnosis and they are watching the situation closely.
Those who may have had contact with that inmate, who had been housed at the jail since August, will be tested.
Health department officials are in the process of determining how many people will be tested, said Logan Boss, Northwest Georgia Health District spokesman.
“Public health uses a concentric-circle approach to contact tracing, expanding as necessary as the process unfolds, so it’s difficult, if not impossible, to even estimate at this point how many close contacts we might eventually recommend for testing,” said Boss.
Persons with TB infection — but not active disease — have no symptoms and are not contagious to others, said Dr. Wade Sellers, health district director. “A positive test does not mean that a person has an active case of TB, only that they have been exposed to the germ at some time in their lifetime,” Sellers said.
“Lots of people are exposed to the TB germ, but do not become ill with the disease.”