Returning Oklahoma National Guard will be tested for TB

Tuesday, March 25th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Military personnel overseas are at risk for contracting tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.

State health officials say soldiers serving in Iraq are at a greater risk for contracting TB because they will be in contact with more prisoners of war, Iraqi soldiers and civilians.

Doctor Paul Dungan director of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department says troops should be tested for TB when they return and three months later.

One third of the world's population has some form of TB germs living in their body. A person can be infected with the disease and not show symptoms and not be contagious.

More than 4,000 Oklahoma National Guard members and reservists are serving overseas and other Oklahoma military personnel are stationed in the Middle East and Europe.

TB can be cured when quickly diagnosed and treated with antibiotics.