Elderly Minnesotans affected by tuberculosis outbreak

By  | 
View Map

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota health officials six of 17 people who contracted tuberculosis in Ramsey County have died, three as a direct result of the disease.

The outbreak has primarily affected elderly residents of the Hmong community. Ten cases have been linked to a senior center. Four other Hmong residents were also infected.

The Star Tribune says patients affected by the outbreak must undergo a costly medication regimen that has more side effects than two first-line antibiotics that have proven ineffective against this strain.

Health officials say more than 350 people at other senior centers that serve the Hmong community and family members of those infected need to be assessed or reassessed for signs of infection.

The disease is spread through the air when someone with infected lungs talks, sneezes or coughs.