More Mississippians are turning to community and emergency shelters for protection in cold weather. This is increasing the risk of tuberculosis (TB) transmission in such facilities, and shelter staff and management should be aware of TB control measures.
Tuberculosis (TB) is spread through the air from one person to another, when someone with TB disease coughs, speaks, or sings.
Symptoms of TB disease may include a cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, chest pain, weight loss, and night sweats.
If anyone in your shelter has symptoms of TB disease, contact the state or local TB program immediately. If possible, use respiratory control measures to reduce the risk of transmission:
- Encourage all shelter staff, volunteers, or clients who are coughing to wear a mask or cough into their arm.
- Provide disposable paper or cloth surgical masks to any symptomatic person.
- Separate those coughing until medically evaluated and found to be free of disease or are no longer contagious.
- Encourage staff and volunteers who are coughing to stay home until they are no longer coughing.
Facilities should consult with their local health department about the necessity and frequency of TB screening for staff, volunteers, and clients.
Contact and Resources
Contact the MSDH Tuberculosis Control program at 601-576-7700.
Additional information and resources: