30 Inmates Test Positive for TB

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Thirty inmates and one employee at the Craighead County Detention Center have tested positive for tuburculosis after sheriff's dept. employees became aware late last week that a former inmate has tested positive for the disease.

Sheriff Jack McCann said all inmates, as well as all employees of the jail and sheriff's dept., were tested for the disease at Clopton Clinic in Jonesboro.  The thirty inmates and one employee that tested positive were also X-rayed, and those images were negative.  "We will re-test all employees and any current inmates who are still in custody in two or three months due to the incubation period of the TB," said McCann.  "We have sent out letters to the 1,200-plus inmates who were housed during the time the infected inmate was present, requesting them to contact the health department for testing."

The Sheriff also complimented his staff as well as medical personnel who assisted during the crisis.  "I was very impressed with the response of the medical staff at the Detention Center, the Health Dept. and Dr. Mark Sifford.  The cooperative effort and coordination between these groups has prevented a potentially dangerous situation from getting out of control."