DOC, Public Health begin mass TB testing - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DOC, Public Health begin mass TB testing

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam – "For the last few weeks we have been working very closely with DOC officials," said Cecilia Arciaga with the Department of Public Health.

And today at the Department of Corrections the Department of Public Health conducted the first wave of TB testing of all pretrial detainees and contempt of court clients housed in their dome facilities: the location of where a detainee tested positive for active tuberculosis. "We're concentrating on the dome post where the original host came from and that's Dome Post 25 and 25 Alpha and 29 and that consists of 117 people ," she explained.

From the domes DOC is fanning out to every single housing unit. "We're going to test the whole Mangilao compound. And we're looking at 470+ inmates. Again CDC has informed us that they will scheduling days after today however for the reading and another testing date as well," she said.

DOC was initially planning to test close contacts confined in the domes, but ultimately DOC director JOSE SAN AGUSTIN made the decision to have everyone tested including staff. Arciaga added, "We have enough supply for this screening we did bring a lot and DOC also procured a lot of supplies to cover the rest of the m employees that needed to be tested."

So what happens if someone turns up positive, limo and Arciaga says plans are already in place to address the potential? DOC spokesman Jeff Limo said, "We're going to have rooms available if in fact they do test positive there will be brought to another screening area and be advised by CDC personnel on what we're going to do next."

Arciaga continued, "Just like in any contact investigation if you find anybody with a positive skin test we would ultimately do a repeat test xray, xray will tell us exactly what the status is whether the germs are just sleeping or they're starting to become active."

According to Limo out of the 30-40 individuals that have been tested so far, zero have turned up positive.

Mass testing is scheduled to continue this Thursday.

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