10 Cases of Tuberculosis Linked to California Casino

Posted on: November 3, 2023, 08:43h. 

Last updated on: November 3, 2023, 08:43h.

A California casino has been linked to at least 10 tuberculosis (TB) cases.

California casino tuberculosis TB
An aerial view of the California Grand Casino in Pacheco, Ca. The commercial cardroom has been linked to at least 10 cases of tuberculosis since 2018. (Image: ABC7)

Contra Costa Health, the public health department of Contra Costa County in Northern California east of downtown San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay, said on Thursday that 10 confirmed TB cases can be traced back to the California Grand Casino. The gaming facility is in Pacheco just off Interstate 680 west of Buchanan Field Airport.

County health officials say a current or ongoing source of TB transmission at the casino has not been identified, but 10 of the county’s 11 TB cases since 2018 “are genetically linked” to the casino and “the majority are associated with staff or customers at the casino.”

The health department said the 11th case has not yet been genetically tested but is also likely linked to the casino. Contra Costa Health is encouraging anyone who has spent time in the cardroom over the past five years to consider a TB test.

We are making this recommendation now because there is new evidence that TB may have spread among people who spent time at the casino from 2018 to 2023,” said Dr. Meera Sreenivasan, deputy health officer for Contra Costa County. “TB can live inside someone for years without showing signs of its presence. That is why it’s important to take a test, even if you do not feel sick”

Tuberculosis can cause serious illness, but it is treatable and curable with medicine, especially when caught early. The California Grand Casino is a commercial cardroom with poker and player-designated blackjack and baccarat.

Tuberculosis Symptoms, Treatment

According to the Cleveland Clinic, tuberculosis is an infectious disease that infects the lungs and other tissues. It is most commonly found in the lungs but can spread to other organs like the brain, spine, and kidneys.

Tuberculosis is named for the Latin word for “nodule” or something that protrudes. People who have TB but don’t present symptoms are considered to have inactive TB or latent tuberculosis. When symptoms develop, the infection is considered active TB disease.

TB is relatively rare, with about 10 million people becoming ill from the bacterial infection each year globally. In the US, there were less than 8,000 TB cases reported in 2021.

The disease is transmitted by infected people coughing, sneezing, talking, singing, or even laughing and dispersing the disease into the air. Only people with active TB are contagious.

TB was once a leading cause of death in the US until effective treatments were developed in the 1940s and 1950s. Common symptoms of active TB include a bad cough lasting more than two weeks, chest pain, coughing up blood, fatigue and weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, chills, fever, and night sweats.

TB is treated with one of several medicines, which attack and kill the associated bacteria. If not treated, TB can be deadly. The disease can also make people with immunocompromised systems very sick.

Washington TB Case

Earlier this year, Casino.org reported on a woman who was known to have TB but continued to frequent tribal casinos in Washington. After months of surveillance and convincing a judge to issue a warrant for her arrest, public health authorities and law enforcement apprehended the woman in June.

The Tacoma woman was booked into a room “specially equipped for isolation, testing, and treatment” after she reportedly refused treatment. A judge issued a civil arrest warrant for the woman after “reasonable efforts” were made to get her into voluntary compliance with the public health law.


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