TB is mainly transmitted via breathing the same air, which explains why all the inmates plus most of the sheriff’s staff have to be tested ... along with a lot of attorneys, courthouse personnel, probation officers and others who visited there even though it will be unknown for some weeks if the inmate is an active case.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that certainly holds true for TB as it can have long and costly treatments. It is imperative that its spread be stopped quickly but, apparently unsaid, is that this going to cost community taxpayers some money to accomplish — an unexpected expense. No matter who pays — and taxpayers cover health-care costs for the incarcerated and their guardians alike with just a TB skin test pegged at about $18 (Medicaid) — this is going to wind up with 1,000 or more tests needing to be administered.
The reasons to pray this now-single case has not spread, particularly on the part of both community and taxpayers, might be found in the following from the World Health Organization: “TB treatment costs about U.S. $2,000 a patient, but rises more than hundredfold to up to U.S. $250,000 a patient with anti-microbial resistant TB.”