Kane Won't Get State, Federal Grants for TB in 2013
Kane County is unlikely to receive again the outside funding it has used for the last two years to fight a TB outbreak linked to an Aurora homeless shelter, local officials say.
With the $213,385 it received this year for TB efforts, the county contracted out testing and treatment services, said Barbara Jeffers, the health department’s interim director. However, supplemental federal and Illinois Department of Public Health grants are unlikely to continue, she told an Aug. 28 meeting of the county board’s public health committee.
County employees will have to pick up that work next year, said Jeffers, who presented proposed 2013 department budgets. That means less money spent on contracted services, but more on supplies and mileage, as employees will be driving to visit patients. That money will come from cash reserves, she said. The projected health budget for 2013 is $5.43 million; the 2012 figure was $5.54 million.
Since the outbreak was identified in 2010, the county has spent $204,500 to treat 24 active TB cases, CDC estimated in March. The outbreak has been linked to a 2007 case, and all patients either stayed at Hesed House shelter or were close contacts of shelter guests. Aurora Public Library staff members were tested recently after a regular patron was confirmed to have active TB. Two new diagnoses have brought the total in the Aurora outbreak to about 30 confirmed active TB cases.
Hesed House is installing an improved ventilation system to help prevent TB transmission. Shelter guests with TB are quarantined off-site, with the county covering food and housing. At least one person with latent TB infection required daily directly observed treatment.
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