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TB Outbreak In Florida Made Worse Thanks To Gov. Scott

TB Outbreak In Florida Made Worse Thanks To Gov. Scott

In April Florida experienced one of the worst tuberculosis outbreaks in twenty years, but thanks in part to Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) bill that shrank the Department of Health and closed the state’s primary hospital for treating TB, the news was kept secret.

According to the Palm Beach Post, 3,000 people in the past two years may have had close contact with contagious people at Jacksonville’s homeless shelters, an outpatient mental health clinic and area jails. Yet investigators learned that only 253 people had been found and evaluated for TB infection. That means the outbreak is far from contained.

In fact, the public wouldn’t learn anything until June and state health officials seem oblivious to the impending public health crisis afoot. Three months after the Centers for Disease Control contacted the state of Florida and told them to deal with this crisis the report still has not been widely circulated.

In the report, the CDC makes it clear that other health officials throughout the state and nation have reason to be concerned: Of the fraction of the sick people’s contacts reached, one-third tested positive for TB exposure in areas like the homeless shelter. Furthermore, only two-thirds of the active cases could be traced to people and places in Jacksonville where the homeless and mentally ill had congregated. That suggested the TB strain had spread beyond the city’s underclass and into the general population.

Departments of Health and Social Services are easy targets for Republicans like Scott to target for pillage. Thanks to those policies Floridians now face a TB outbreak in a state insufficient medical staff and facilities to treat it. If the Scott administration either won’t acknowledge or doesn’t understand the crisis on its hand, how can it be trusted to treat and contain it?

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Photo from Elvert Barnes via flickr.

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94 comments

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12:13PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Scott needs to be recalled and jailed for his previous crimes and his crimes of putting the state of Florida at risk along with the tourist that visits how reckless is this governor with our lives ? When will this stop. When will these Idiots be charged for the crimes they have committed.

11:42AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Rick Scott should be publically executed for this crime.

6:19PM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

This should not surprise anyone. Scott was the CEO of a large HMO that was involved in one of the largest fraud scams against medicare. He claimed not to know about it. Right. He should be held accountable for lost lives.

2:44AM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

Thanks for another great article.

9:15PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

@James H. "Please find the comment that I am evaluating for a better understanding of what I am trying to state."

Awkward sentence construction. I can't give you a passing grade. Sorry.

9:02PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Howard C.
Many of the diseases that we had "eradicated" have returned due to a generations that refuses to vacinate, and seems to be total germaphobes. They have weakened the immune systems of their children due to their need to be "sterile" rather than just clean...

9:01PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

We can also ask James to define convoluted. Since he does it so well.

8:57PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

James H. You seem to know a lot about English structure...can you define a run on sentence for me? No one has ever been able to explain it to me...thanks

8:48PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Wait until some rich GOP have TB...

8:18PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Amazing, he pays 1.6 Billion for Medicare fraud and instead of prison where he belongs he's the governor of a sstate where he can maximize pain and suffering with his ignorance.

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