St. Anthony's gives free tests for tuberculosis

August 13, 2008 9:01:33 PM PDT
The St. Anthony's Foundation tested more than 50 people for tuberculosis at a free event in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood today in an effort to get the disease off the streets, a foundation spokeswoman said.

The foundation wanted to reach out to transients in the area because it believes they are more likely to have TB but they don't necessarily know about their resources, foundation spokeswoman Francis Aviani said.

"The Tenderloin is a place where many immigrants and many poor people come to when they first live to San Francisco. It's home to almost every immigrant population," Aviani said. "Since the disease is airborne and there are people living in close corridors, it's very common in that area."

The disease is rarely but potentially deadly if gone untreated. Common symptoms are extended coughs, feelings of fatigue and a fever, but most cases are curable if caught in time

Aviani also pointed out that San Francisco has the highest rate of TB in the state, which makes testing and treatment event more imperative.

San Francisco reported about 18 TB cases per 100,000 people in 2007, which was the highest rate in the state, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Test results for those who took part in today's event can be retrieved through the foundation within the next couple of days. If results do come back positive, the foundation also offers free treatment, Aviani said.


Load Comments