From Contra Costa Health:
Contra Costa Health (CCH) recommends that anyone who has spent time inside California Grand Casino in Pacheco since 2018 consider a tuberculosis (TB) test, after recent genetic testing revealed several related cases among staff and customers over the past five years.
Of the 11 confirmed TB cases, 10 are genetically linked and the majority are associated with staff or customers at the casino. The 11th case has not yet been genetically tested.
CCH has so far not identified a current or ongoing source of transmission at the casino. CCH is working closely with casino management to ensure prompt, appropriate testing, health advice and screening for all its staff.
“We are making this recommendation now because there is new evidence that TB may have spread among people who spent time at the casino from 2018 to 2023,” said Dr. Meera Sreenivasan, deputy health officer for Contra Costa County. “TB can live inside someone for years without showing signs of its presence. That is why it’s important to take a test, even if you do not feel sick. TB can cause serious illness, but it is treatable and curable with medicine, especially when caught early.”
To date, CCH has contacted more than 300 people who may have been exposed to active TB and is working with California Grand management to provide health education to staff and to encourage testing.
Symptoms of active TB can include a persistent or bloody cough, fever, unexpected weight loss, night sweats and fatigue.
TB bacteria can live inside a person for months or years without causing any symptoms, so even people with no symptoms should talk to their healthcare providers about getting a TB test if they believe they may have been exposed.
TB can spread when a person who has developed symptoms coughs or breathes out droplets containing the bacteria, particularly in an enclosed space over a long period of time, such as several hours.
The only way to know if someone was infected after a TB exposure is to test.
If you believe you may have been exposed to TB, talk to your healthcare provider or call CCH’s TB Client Services Program at 925-313-6740 if you are uninsured or need advice about next steps. Visit cchealth.org/tb for more information about TB.