Monday, July 9, 2012

Worst tuberculosis outbreak in 20 years kept secret as Florida shuts TB hospital

With 13 dead and 99 sick, a recent outbreak of tuberculosis in Jacksonville, Florida, was the worst in decades - but nobody knew.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control tried to warn lawmakers of the dire situation as early as February of this year, penning letters and publishing reports, but it was too late.

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill in April to shutter the A. G. Holley State Hospital in Lantana, where tuberculosis has been treated for more than 60 years, shrinking the state's ability to combat the deadly disease.

The public would not know about the spread of the airborne bacteria until June, when the strain from Jacksonville showed up in numerous parts of the state like Miami. Read More