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Published July 10, 2013, 03:37 PM

TB containment costs on the rise

The tuberculosis outbreak continues in Grand Forks, and costs are skyrocketing in the fight to contain the spread of the disease.

By: WDAZ Staff Reports, WDAZ

The tuberculosis outbreak continues in Grand Forks, and costs are skyrocketing in the fight to contain the spread of the disease.

It's been nearly 10 months since the first TB case was detected at Phoenix Elementary School. Since then, more than 1,500 people have been tested, 26 diagnosed with TB. Ten of the patients have been placed in subsidized housing to allow the department to keep them in quarantine. Food is brought to them in order to minimize the spread of TB. As testing continues, city health officials expect even more people to be diagnosed.

Debbie Swanson, Grand Forks Public Health: "We're doing a really good job of containing the disease in the community of

Grand Forks but we just want people to be aware that TB is still out there. The disease affects people worldwide. It can happen to anyone and it can happen right here in Grand Forks."

Swanson tells us TB is a costly disease to fight, with treatment normally lasting 6-12 months. In attempts to stop the spread of the disease, the city has received 80,000 dollars from the North Dakota Department of Health. Public health staff expect even more reimbursements.

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