Ex-VA patient’s positive TB test prompts NC center testing

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Doctor's appointment (Photo: Darko Stojanovic)

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Patients and staff at a Veterans Affairs center in North Carolina are being tested for tuberculosis after a former patient tested positive.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that the Fayetteville VA Medical Center’s interim director, Carl Bazemore, sent a memo to staff members earlier this month saying the patient who tested positive was in the center’s care from May 8 through Oct. 5.

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Fayetteville VA spokesman Jeffrey Melvin says it’s hard to tell when the patient contract tuberculosis. Melvin says it’s unknown whether anyone tested positive as of Wednesday.

Individual notices have been issued to 172 potentially exposed employees and 238 veterans.

Bazemore says the patient’s initial TB test was negative and the bacteria count was low, meaning the potential for spreading the disease is minimal.