Officials confirm one tuberculosis case in Sapulpa

Wednesday, June 25th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAPULPA, Okla. (AP) _ State health officials have confirmed one case of tuberculosis among 500 manufacturing workers who were tested for the disease.

The victim is a foreign-born worker of Bartlett-Collins Indiana Glass, said Dr. Jon Tillinghast, tuberculosis control officer for the Oklahoma Department of Health.

Mandatory skin tests for employees began Monday and continued Wednesday.

Tillinghast said he expected to find several more infections but not many cases of the tuberculosis disease. One in three employees is likely to have a tuberculosis infection, but that does not mean they have the disease, he said Tuesday.

A person who has only the infection cannot transmit the disease, and in 90 percent of infections, the patient never develops tuberculosis, the doctor said.

About one-third of the plant's employees are foreigners and could have contracted the infection before coming to the United States, Tillinghast said. More than 50 percent of tuberculosis cases in the United States are in people born in other countries, the doctor said.

Employees who show signs of infection will be treated with medication for six months, Tillinghast said.

The glass plant posted a sign telling employees the testing was mandatory and they could not return to work until test results were returned.