Means may justify end in TB outbreak

Published 8:46 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Some have criticized the Alabama Department of Public Health for paying people from Perry County to get tested for tuberculosis over the last several weeks.

The department has offered anyone who would be screened $20 to take the TSPOT blood test. They’d also be given another $20 for returning after three days to get their result.

Additional money is also awarded to those who are recommended for treatment and then get treated.

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We applaud the department for trying to slow the outbreak before it spreads.

A total of 47 people have been diagnosed with TB but all of them have tested positive in Perry County. Others have lived elsewhere though.

Awarding money isn’t the most conventional method to get people tested, but it’s obviously effective.

If it stops a widespread epidemic, it’s worth it.

Many of the people in Perry County frequent Selma regularly.

They shop here, go to the hospital here and use Dallas County’s other resources.

The disease has already spread to people in Bibb County and Tuscaloosa County and could easily make its way into Dallas County if it’s not treated correctly.

Thankfully, the Alabama Department of Public Health, along with the Perry County Health Department, are working diligently to stop it from spreading any further.

If that takes unconventional methods, then so be it. Symptoms of TB include a cough lasting more than two weeks, shortness of breath, fever, night sweats, weight loss and fatigue.

A person may be infected with the TB germ and have no symptoms. The Perry County Health Department is located at 1748 S. Washington Street in Marion. All the services are confidential and are provided at no extra charge.

For anyone with questions, contact Pam Barrett, director of TB control, at (334) 467-8208.