Tuberculosis cases saw a dramatic spike in 2021. And, it continues to climb with no signs of slowing. There is a 22 percent increase from the year before. And in 2022, it is on track to be even worse. There has been 70 cases in the first four months. Of the 70 confirmed tuberculosis cases, 17 of them have been linked to Washington state prisons.
COVID is an issue as well. Some patients with tuberculosis may have been misdiagnosed as having COVID-19. Both illnesses have some similar symptoms. The similar symptoms includes weight loss, tiredness coughing, chest pain, fever, and night sweats.
Everywhere, including Washington has to worry about TB. Tuberculosis cases are on the rise across the nation and in the state of Washington. The Washington State Department of Health is sounding serious on the matter. It says that the state is grappling with an unusually strong wave of tuberculosis cases. The agency states that this started in 2021 when doctors diagnosed 199 cases of TB in Washingtonians.
Washington State Department of Corrections stated that it is aware of a rise in TB cases in one of the facilities. The head of the facility stated that it immediately began working closely with the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control on testing. They are testing staff and the incarcerated population at the Stafford Creek Correction Center.
Experts say that treatment for tuberculosis takes six months or more. After care must be followed diligently and can lead to more severe symptoms if not treated.