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Westborough Health Director: No TB Emergency in Town

By Tom Marino | February 21, 2024
Last Updated: February 21, 2024
Westborough Town Hall in Westborough, MA

WESTBOROUGH – Westborough Public Health Director Jennifer Sullivan released a statement on Tuesday, Feb. 20, to addressed concerns about four active Tuberculosis (TB) cases in the town.

Sullivan said there is no public health crisis in the town.

Tuberculosis, caused by bacteria, spreads through the air from people with an active infection but requires prolonged close contact for transmission. Most exposures lead to latent TB, where the bacteria are present but inactive, and cannot spread to others. Testing can identify latent TB, which poses no transmission risk unless it becomes active.

According to Sullivan, Westborough reported 80 TB-related cases to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) in 2023. In 2022, 86 cases were reported.

Public health protocols include screening for latent TB among close contacts of active TB cases and certain high-risk groups. Medication can prevent latent TB from becoming active, significantly reducing the risk of spread.

Sullivan encourages public engagement for further information and support.

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