by Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

San Diego County Health Officials today warned passengers of the Orange and Blue Metropolitan Transit System lines might have been exposed to tuberculosis. 

The HHSA and MTS officials are working to notify riders who used the trolley between June 31, 2022, to December 31, 2022, that they were potentially exposed and are at risk for infection.

Those who rode the Orange and Blue lines on the below schedule may have been exposed:
   — Trolley Blue Line from San Ysidro to 12th & Imperial Transit Center Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.;
   — Trolley Orange Line from 12th & Imperial to El Cajon Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 7 a.m.;
   — Trolley Orange Line from El Cajon to 12th & Imperial Monday through Friday roughly between 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.; and
   — Trolley Blue Line from 12th & Imperial to San Ysidro Transit Center Monday through Friday roughly between 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

According to the HHSA, people with active tuberculosis are often unaware they have the disease and may be contagious for several months before being diagnosed. TB is transmitted from person to person through indoor air during prolonged contact with an infectious person. 

Most people who are exposed to TB do not become infected.

Potentially affected passengers are advised to consult their medical provider or contact the San Diego County TB Program.

“Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss,” said Ankita Kadakia, M.D., County Deputy Public Health Officer. “Most people who become infected after exposure to tuberculosis do not get sick right away. This is called latent TB infection. Some who become infected with tuberculosis will become ill in the future, sometimes even years later, if their latent TB infection is not treated. Blood tests and skin tests are effective to determine whether someone has been infected.”

According to the county, once the HHSA is made aware, typically through a test result reported by a medical provider, communicable disease investigators conduct extensive interviews with the patient to determine the length of time they were infected and the locations of potential exposure.

Two other MTS riders with TB were reported in August and September 2022. At this time the HHSA does not have any evidence directly linking the rider most recently diagnosed with TB to the other MTS riders.

Individuals who would like more information on this potential exposure are asked to call the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.

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