Massachusetts hospital treats 4 tuberculosis patients

Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Mass., has recently treated four patients for tuberculosis. While there are about 10 active cases of the disease among residents in the city, officials maintain they are unrelated and therefore it is not considered an outbreak, The Boston Globe reported Oct. 5. 

"Our obligation is to diagnose and treat these patients, we have done so and they have been released," the hospital said in a statement sent to the news outlet. "The Massachusetts Department of Public Health oversees follow up and tracking and we have been in communication with them regarding these patients." 

The Globe followed up with a hospital spokesperson, who confirmed that four patients had been diagnosed with tuberculosis "in the past quarter." The spokesperson could not offer more specifics on the timeline, citing medical privacy laws. 

Officials with the local health board in Brockton confirmed they are currently aware of "about 10" active cases of TB among residents, though underscored the cases are unrelated and therefore do not "meet the definition of an outbreak." The "10 or so" cases received care from multiple healthcare facilities, local officials said. 

Meanwhile, in New York City there have already been 500 cases of active tuberculosis this year, up from 20% from the same time last year. The city is struggling to keep up with the rise in cases, as clinics dedicated to treating the disease are significantly understaffed. 

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