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County tuberculosis rate one of highest in nation

Original post made on Mar 22, 2012

Santa Clara County continues to have one of the highest tuberculosis rates in the nation and the state, the Tuberculosis Prevention Partnership announced Thursday, March 22, on World TB Day.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 22, 2012, 4:47 PM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Pat
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm

If the rate of TB is 5.8 cases per 100,000 in California and the rate in Santa Clara County is 10 cases per 100,000 then the rate of TB in Santa Clara County is 72% higher than the state average.

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Posted by Robert
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm

>Santa Clara County is 72% higher than the state average.

Yes, but given that--

> Santa Clara County had 181 tuberculosis cases in 2011

there are not that many cases to begin with, and statistics with such small numbers generally can lead to erroneous, or meaningless, conclusions.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

I oppose illegal immigration and actually believe countries are justified in defending their borders and removing trespassers and not providing a raft of public benefits to such persons.
Disease concerns/the public health of our citizens is one reason for my position.
I am amazed at the stupidity of those with a "who cares?" attitude towards blatant illegal immigration here.
This is what you get from advertising you are a "sanctuary city," in the case of San Francisco -- a costly burden and public health threat that shouldn't exist. Shame on the cunning entrenched politicians who use pandering to illegals and their supporters as a way to buy votes.
It is an insult to those who apply to immigrate to this country legally.

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Posted by Monica
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm

In response to "neighbor" who wrote:
"Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, 2 hours ago

"I oppose illegal immigration and actually believe countries are justified in defending their borders and removing trespassers and not providing a raft of public benefits to such persons.

Disease concerns/the public health of our citizens is one reason for my position."

Why do you think that illegal immigration is the culprit for the high rate of TB in the area? Do you ever walk through San Francisco and see how many homeless people we have? What is their health status? Do they have their annual physical? I guess not. What about all the Americans who don't see a doctor if they get sick, because we won't give them health care? It worries me sick, that they might have a highly communicable disease without being able to get treatment.

Do you know, that foreign students, exchange visitors etc. at universities are required to have health insurance? You cannot bring them into the country unless you offer them insurance. And no, not because we treat them better than Americans, but because officials are worried they might leave the country before paying a big fat medical bill after e.g.. having an accident. It is about the money, not that we care about their well-being.
So we can require them to carry insurance, but if we ask Americans to do the same thing, we start whining about socialized medicine and Obama care and what not.
Everybody with something potentially contagious who cannot seek/afford care is a risk for the community and a public health threat.

There is a homeless lady living on California Avenue. She has a shopping cart full of filthy blankets, and I assume that is all she owns. I don't mean to be rude, but he smell ...
And I am worried about her cough every time I walk by the bench she calls home on when I shop on Cal. Ave.

So, before we blame illegal immigrants for everything from TB, to crime rate, to the bad whether, we might take a look at ourselves.

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Posted by Robert
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm

This issue of TB in Santa Clara county is not new. The following link, to an on-line publication called Asian-Week, lists the Asian communities which, back in 2008, were responsible for the rising TB rates:

Web Link

By country of birth, percentages in total cases of active tuberculosis:

Vietnam 26%
Philippines 22%
India 14%
China 6%
Mexico 10%
Other 12% (e.g., Peru, Ethiopia, and countries with less than 5 TB cases)
U.S. 10

Source: Santa Clara County Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Program


The Weekly article talks about TB being a product of "visitation" to areas of high-infestation (such as India). However, it is just as likely that the high rates are from legal immigration from India/China/Vietnam/Philippines, rather than contact from overseas travel. It's unfortunately that no one has bother to ask the Santa Clara County health authorities to be a little more specific in how this disease is reaching our shores:

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Posted by Legal Immigrant
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Monica, if you enter the U.S. legally you are thoroughly tested for TB by Health professionals at the U.S. embassies around the world If you test positive you will not be granted legal immigration status if you have TB, and will not be allowed into the U.S.

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Posted by passing through
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm

While doing some research on recent TB cases on children under 5years of age. I happened upon this site. After reading a few comments made regarding this subject, let me just say that this is not only an immigrant, public health, serious health issue but more real than people think. I have a personal experience regarding this matter which involves my grandchild that I would like to share.
My daughter and her boyfriend would entertain and have the neighbors over for bbq on various occasions. Not understanding why the neighbor had a cough other then he was a smoker, the man would tell my daughter his cough was due to his smoking. Months went by and
and my grandchild became gravely ill. He was admitted for emergency surgery with TB in the brain. He had contracted the disease from an Anglo-American man who's girlfriend Asian- Hmong had who also visited my daughter and friends. The girlfriend contracted it from her grand-parents who were either visiting here from Hmong and because of privacy issues I was not given any information. I can only
determine that this didnt get contained with the grandparents and
now everyone in her family was spreading the disease.
These 2 young people that were 25yr -30 yr of age, were ignorant and failed to properly educate themselves about the disease. They liberally spread TB to everyone they came in contact with until the
proper authorities realized why this deadly disease almost took our grandson away.
My grandson's near death experience from this disese caused the
health department to step in to investigate and narrow down who
he contracted the TB from. I can only say that my grandson was a sacrifice for having probably saved many other lifes. We made sure we told everyone we knew that came in contact with these infected individuals.
So the morale of this story is that dont just blame illegal- immigrants or homeless people, because it could be your neighbor!


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Interesting that the discussion dosed on SF when it's your county that's the problem. Heck, your county had it bad when I was in high school & college - I recall Taft Tom my health courses. Too many people still think it's been eradicated & thus it grows. We no longer house those w/it in sanitariums, but for its time, it made sense.

Better info is needed than what's in this article for readers to more fully understand what's going on. And, it sounds like its time for a public eduction campaign about this deadly disease.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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