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State budget panel approves $4.6M for tuberculosis outbreak in Sheboygan Co.

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SHEBOYGAN, WI (WTAQ) - The legislative joint committee on finance has approved $4.6 million to cover the containment costs of an outbreak of tuberculosis in Sheboygan County. 

In April, eight members of an extended family tested positive for active TB.  The Department of Health Services says several additional family members may also be infected with TB.

State Health Officer Dr. Henry Anderson says one case is resistant to multiple drugs but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be treated. 

TB drugs are expensive and also labor intensive, requiring daily doses administered by a health care professional.  Anderson says prolonged treatment may last up to two years and the drugs for one patient costs around $250,000.

Anderson says an active TB patient could lead to an upwards of 50 other people being tested. Sheboygan County health officials have already tested classmates of two high school students as well as two family members work associates. 

All of the active TB patients are confided to their homes. 

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