Casino in Northern California Linked to 11 Tuberculosis Cases
A casino in Northern California has been connected to 11 cases of tuberculosis over the past five years, prompting health officials to urge both staff and visitors to get tested for this highly infectious disease.
According to Contra Costa Health (CCH), 10 of the confirmed cases are genetically linked and most are associated with individuals who either work at or visit the California Grand Casino in Pacheco. The agency has already reached out to over 300 people who could have been exposed to active tuberculosis.
While CCH has not identified a current source of transmission at the casino, it is working closely with management to test and screen all staff members. Dr. Meera Sreenivasan, deputy health officer for Contra Costa County, stated that new evidence suggests tuberculosis may have spread among individuals who spent time at the casino between 2018 and 2023. She emphasized the importance of taking a test, even for those who do not feel sick, as tuberculosis can cause serious illness but is treatable and curable with early detection.
The casino’s spokesperson, Becky Warren, reassured the public in a statement that none of the linked cases involve their employees and that they are actively collaborating with the county to ensure public health and safety. However, the agency did not provide details on how the cases were initially identified.
Tuberculosis, usually found in the lungs, can cause symptoms such as coughing, chest pain, and fever. It spreads when individuals cough or breathe out bacteria, particularly in enclosed areas over extended periods of time. CCH encourages anyone who believes they may have been exposed to talk to their healthcare provider and get tested. The disease can be cured with a standardized course of drugs and can be prevented through screening, vaccination, and ensuring infected individuals complete their treatment.
Global tuberculosis rates have been on the rise, with about 10 million people falling ill and 1.5 million dying from the disease each year. It is also a leading cause of death for people with HIV worldwide.
– Contra Costa Health (CCH)