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Visitors to Indiana Laundromat warned to get TB test

March 06, 2012

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Health officials are urging anyone who visited a Kokomo Laundromat in recent months to get tested for tuberculosis because a woman who was contagious with the disease had also been there.

Howard County health officials confirmed last week that an employee at a Kokomo's OP Nail Salon had contracted the disease and was contagious for a period of months. The Kokomo woman also visited the Center Road Laundromat, and health officials said anyone who visited the spa or Laundromat from November through February to get tested for TB, the Kokomo Tribune reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/wZXnUf ).

They've opened a free testing clinic in response and are prepared to test about 300 people a day.

They're not yet sure how many people will get tested.

County Health Officer Dr. Donald Zent said there's no current threat to the general public, and those who test positive likely don't have an active case of the disease.

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"We're screening people that might have had exposure, to see if they have been in contact with an active case," he said. "We'll move forward based on the number of people who test positive."

Zent said any positive test result would be followed up with an interview with the health department and a chest X-ray.

Logansport resident Stephanie Birnell said she was worried because she visited the salon while she was pregnant with her daughter, Emalynn.

"I just want to be safe than sorry," Birnell said. "My main concern is (Emalynn)."

Sheila Whitehead, who visited the salon with a friend during the exposure period, said she was happy with the health department's response but was concerned because she had been in contact with the woman.

"You're always concerned when it comes to your health," Whitehead said.

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Information from: Kokomo Tribune, http://www.ktonline.com

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