10 Tuberculosis Cases Linked to California Casino

A California Casino Linked to Tuberculosis (TB) Outbreak

Posted on: November 3, 2023, 08:43h. 

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

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)

A recent outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) cases in California has been traced back to the California Grand Casino in Pacheco. As of now, there have been 10 confirmed cases connected to the gaming facility since 2018.

The Contra Costa Health department has stated that there is currently no identified source of TB transmission at the casino. However, the genetic analysis of the cases reveals that 10 out of 11 TB cases in the county since 2018 are linked to the casino, with most of them involving staff or customers.

Health officials are urging anyone who has visited the cardroom in the past five years to consider undergoing a TB test as a precautionary measure.

In light of new evidence of potential TB transmission at the casino between 2018 and 2023, Dr. Meera Sreenivasan, deputy health officer for Contra Costa County, emphasizes the importance of taking a test, even for those who are not currently experiencing any symptoms.

While TB can result in severe illness, it can be effectively treated and cured with medication, especially when diagnosed early. The California Grand Casino operates as a commercial cardroom offering poker, blackjack, and baccarat.

Tuberculosis: Symptoms and Treatment

According to the Cleveland Clinic, tuberculosis is an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs but can also spread to other organs like the brain, spine, and kidneys.

The disease has two stages: latent tuberculosis, where individuals have the infection but show no symptoms, and active TB disease, where symptoms such as a persistent cough, chest pain, fatigue, and weight loss become evident.

Globally, TB remains relatively rare, with around 10 million new cases reported each year. In the US, there were less than 8,000 reported cases in 2021.

TB is transmitted through infected individuals coughing, sneezing, or talking, releasing the bacteria into the air. Only those with active TB are contagious.

Following effective treatments developed in the 1940s and 1950s, TB is no longer a leading cause of death in the US. Common symptoms of active TB include a persistent cough lasting more than two weeks, chest pain, coughing up blood, fatigue, weight loss, chills, fever, and night sweats.

TB is treatable with various medications that target and eliminate the bacteria. Without timely treatment, TB can be fatal, particularly for individuals with weakened immune systems.

Washington TB Case

In a separate incident earlier this year, a woman known to have TB continued to visit tribal casinos in Washington. After extensive surveillance and legal intervention, authorities arrested the woman in June and placed her in an isolated room for testing and treatment.

The woman had initially refused treatment, prompting a civil arrest warrant. Efforts were made to ensure her compliance with public health regulations, ultimately safeguarding the health of other individuals within the casino.


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