POMEROY — No active cases of tuberculosis were diagnosed in Meigs County in 2012, according to the annual report of Nancy Broderick, R.N., executive director.
She did note, however, that the clinic had four patients with positive skin tests, two of which received treatment for latent (inactive) TB infections, one who completed treatment and another who was non-compliant with the recommendations of the clinic.
During the year, the clinic did 1,505 skin tests, 88 chest x-rays, held 17 outside clinics and offered skin testing in the county’s schools.
The agency is a levy-funded clinic operating under the supervision of the Meigs County Commissioners and a Board of Directors which consists of 13 members representing all townships of the county. Services are provided to Meigs County residents or anyone working in the county at no cost, according to Broderick, who listed those services as skin testing, chest x-rays for positive reactors, lab work and medications for active or inactive tuberculosis, as well as arranging doctor appointment related to the disease.
The new clinic physician is Jeremy Parsons, DO who oversees the clinic’s chest x-ray clinics and provides health care to patients who do not have a regular private physician. Once a person is diagnosed with active tuberculosis, that person receives treatment in their own home or in a hospital if there are other medical problems. The TB nurse provides the routine home visits.
As explained by Broderick, tuberculosis is an airborne disease. The germs are passed through the air when a person who is sick with active tuberculosis coughs, laughs, sings or sneezes. Anyone nearby can breathe in the TB germs and get an infection, she said. She went on to say that if left untreated, TB infection can turn into active TB disease. While the lungs are usually the place of disease, TB can also move into other organs or parts of the body, she added.
However, she stressed that tuberculosis can almost always be treated and cured if medications are taken as directed by the health care provider.
“Active tuberculosis patients normally are no longer contagious within a few weeks of beginning treatment if the plan of treatment as directed by the physician is followed,” she said.
The Meigs County TB Clinic, located at 112 Memorial Drive in Pomeroy, has office hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The telephone number is 740-992-3722. Skin tests are not given on Thursdays.