BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – State health officials say Alabama’s prison system is dealing with its worst outbreak of tuberculosis in five years.
Officials say they’ve diagnosed nine active cases of the infectious respiratory disease in state prisons this year.
Alabama prisons averaged fewer than five cases annually each year since 2009.
All but one of the cases this year occurred at the St. Clair Correctional Facility. The other occurred at Donaldson prison north of Birmingham.
The state director of tuberculosis control, Pam Barrett, says St. Clair prison isn’t accepting new inmates because of the outbreak, and prisoners also aren’t being transferred out.
Barrett hopes the outbreak is nearing an end.
Separately, health officials say they’ve identified active TB in a worker at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance and a student at Auburn University.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)