Former Craighead County Inmate Tests Positive for TB

JONESBORO, AR - A former inmate at the Craighead County Detention Center has tested positive for tuberculosis, according to Sheriff Jack McCann.

McCann told Region 8 News this afternoon that the inmate, who began serving a 45-day sentence in April, tested positive for the condition yesterday.  McCann says neither the inmate or jail officials were aware that he had contracted the disease at the time of his incarceration.

Tuberculosis is considered contagious, and McCann says he has begun the process of making sure all Sheriff's Dept.  and jail employees are tested, as well as all jail inmates.  McCann says during the 45 days in which the inmate was incarcerated, 1,224 inmates passed through the jail, and his department must now contact those inmates and notify them that they may have been subjected to the disease.

According to Wikipedia, Tuberculosis is a "common and deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria," and "most commonly attacks the lungs, but can also affect the central nervous system" and other parts of the human body.  TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or talks.