An employee at MacDill Air Force Base is in isolation and undergoing treatment for tuberculosis after potentially exposing up to 50 people to the contagious illness, said officials.
Details about the individual were not given.
“We have determined that there are about 50 people that we believe would benefit from testing just to be absolutely sure that the germ was not passed,” said Steve Huard, Public Affairs Officer for the Hillsborough County Department of Health.
“We’ll do the testing tomorrow,” Huard said. “Those will be the same skin tests that people are used to seeing for TB. It’s just a little prick on the arm.”
The Mayo clinic says “Tuberculosis is a potentially serious infectious disease that primarily affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.”
People with TB can experience symptoms including a cough, fatigue, night sweats, chills, fever, weight loss and loss of appetite.
Huard went on to say that TB is difficult to transmit without “prolonged personal contact” and said the chances that somebody else caught the disease is “fairly unlikely,” though it is possible, statistically speaking.