California health officials are recommending anyone who spent time in a Bay Area casino in the last five years be tested for tuberculosis after 11 confirmed cases have been linked to staff and customers.
Contra Costa Health (CCH) put out the suggestion Thursday, and a county health spokesman told KTVU FOX 2 the most recent case was discovered Oct. 31.
“Of the 11 confirmed TB cases, 10 are genetically linked, and the majority are associated with staff or customers at the casino. The 11th case has not yet been genetically tested,” the health officials said. The source of transmission last the casino has not been identified.
“We are making this recommendation now because there is new evidence that TB may have spread among people who spent time at the casino from 2018 to 2023,” Dr. Meera Sreenivasan said. “TB can live inside someone for years without showing signs of its presence. That is why it’s important to take a test, even if you do not feel sick. TB can cause serious illness, but it is treatable and curable with medicine, especially when caught early.”
Symptoms of active tuberculosis may include persistent or bloody cough, unexpected weight loss, night sweats and fatigue, CCH stated.
TB spreads when a person exhibiting symptoms coughs or breaths out droplets containing the bacteria, most commonly in an enclosed space over a long period of time, such as several hours, CCH says.
Patrons outside the gambling establishment told KTVU they had not heard the news prior to their interaction and did not see any warning signs or notices about the bacterial disease that affects a person’s lungs.
“Doesn’t sound like it’s cool, but people still here though, so didn’t scare too many people away,” Anthony Brown from Richmond said.
“That’s the first I’ve heard anything about that,” customer Bob Lewis from Lafayette said.
Fox News reached out to the casino for comment but did not immediately hear back. The business did release a statement to KTVU.
“Our foremost commitment is to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. According to Contra Costa Health, none of the linked cases are currently contagious, nor do they involve our staff. Additionally, Contra Costa Health has not identified any ongoing sources of transmission at the card room. We are actively collaborating with the county on notifications and testing to uphold public health and safety.”