Tuberculosis Cases Linked to Poultry Industry

The Alabama Department of Public Health says seven confirmed cases of tuberculosis have been linked to the poultry industry in northwest Alabama, and is encouraging testing for anyone who may have come into contact with those infected.

People who are working or who have worked with the poultry industry in Colbert, Franklin, Lawrence, or Lauderdale counties from June 2022 to the present are asked to be screened for tuberculosis (TB). TB is a type of bacteria that is usually spread from one infected person’s lungs to another’s through activities such as talking or coughing. TB is not transmitted in food. People who are infected with TB can be very sick or may have no symptoms. TB is treated using antibiotics and is almost always cured. People infected with TB can also be offered a preventive treatment.

Over this time period, seven cases of confirmed or suspected TB disease have been identified in individuals who have worked in one or more poultry plants. As people who work in these plants are frequently in close contact with one another, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) cautions that these individuals may have been or currently be at risk for contracting TB.

As with any identified cases of TB in the state, ADPH is implementing precautionary testing, investigation, and control measures. Anyone of any age can get TB and the cases in this outbreak have not been limited to any individual racial or ethnic group.

Testing is done by a blood test and will be available on the following days and locations from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.:

Lauderdale County Health Department, Monday, August 7, and Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Colbert County Health Department, Thursday, August 10, 2023

Lawrence County Health Department, Monday, August 14, 2023

Franklin County Health Department, Thursday, August 17, 2023

For each eligible individual who completes the testing, a $20 gift card will be offered. For more information, contact the local health department.

TB is a dangerous, contagious, airborne disease, but it is treatable and preventable. Persons who have been in close contact with suspect cases will be rapidly assessed and appropriate preventive measures will be taken. Addresses and telephone numbers of these county health departments are as follows:

Colbert County Health Department
1000 S. Jackson Highway, Sheffield, AL 35660
(256) 383-1231

Franklin County Health Department
801 County Road 48, Russellville, AL 35653
(256) 332-2700

Lauderdale County Health Department
4112 Chisholm Road, Florence, AL 35630
(256) 764-7453

Lawrence County Health Department
13299 Alabama Highway 157, Moulton, AL 35650
(256) 974-1141