Refugees with active TB were not contagious

A recent news story reports that Idaho has resettled seven refugees with active tuberculosis (TB) between 2011 and 2015. While that is accurate, it’s important to note that those refugees were not infectious and could not spread the tuberculosis infection to other people.

They all had abnormal chest X-rays, which is typically how they are screened for TB in other countries, but they tested negative for contagious disease in three separate sputum cultures after they arrived in Idaho. Even so, they all received immediate treatment and were monitored by public health officials to make sure any TB would be killed that their lungs might harbor.  Continue reading