Wal-Mart employee diagnosed with TB

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – We're learning more about a tuberculosis case in Henrico County. Health officials confirmed a Wal-Mart employee is undergoing treatment right now. That unidentified patient is being given antibiotics as part of that treatment. As for Wal-Mart, we're still waiting to hear back from them to confirm the exact store affected and how its nearly 400 employees are reacting to the diagnosis.

Wal-Mart store managers aren't talking after a store employee was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The case made its way to the Henrico County Health Department but Monday night department officials tell NBC12 there's no reason to worry.

"There is no risk to the general public based on what we know about the investigation at this time so the people that we are looking at as far as our at risk population are employees at the store," said district director, Susan Fischer Davis.

Davis won't say at which store the employee worked, in order to protect the patient's identity. But there are three Wal-Marts in Henrico: the one in Short Pump on Broad Street, the one on Brook Road and the one on Parham Road.

"The store is very wide open," said Davis. "There's lots of air space and TB is not transmitted easily at all in wide open settings that's why the general public is thought not to be at risk at this point in the investigation."

While no customers are at risk, we've learned that some store employees might have to be tested next week. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that mostly affects the lungs but can occur anywhere in the body. Antibiotics are given to affected patients for a long period of time and because of this the disease is curable. The health district director also added that in order to catch TB you must be in close contact with someone that has it.

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