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Imagine that you are unfortunate to come down with Tuberculosis. Now imagine that top officials in your state conspired to cover-up an outbreak of TB that was the worst outbreak in the US in over twenty years. An outbreak that had you known about it you might have been able to avoid becoming infected. I think that one can safely say that they would be super pissed off.

Keep reading. It gets worse.

It is being reported by the Palm Beach Post  that the State of Florida health officials conspired to cover up the worst Tuberculosis outbreak in the US in over twenty years. So severe it was, that they felt the need to call in the Center for Disease Control for help. According to the Palm Beach post the coverup started in February of this year. Apparently overwhelmed by the huge number of TB cases Duval County health officials contacted the CDC but

...[b]elieving the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.”
But here is where shit gets real in a hurry. The CDC issued a report advising the state of taking concerted action against the strain. But the problem is that nobody was paying attention. You see Governor Rick Scott announced the closure of the A.G. Holley State Hospital and the downsizing of the State Health Department only nine days prior to the CDC advisory. A.G Holley State hospital had been responsible for treating the most difficult of these strains. And it turns out that not only did they close the hospital, they closed it six months early. You got to get that austerity on as soon as possible don't you know.

So here is the toll: 13 dead. 99 infected most of whom were poor black men. Over 3000 exposed in homeless shelters around the Jacksonville area.

The monetary toll? Up to $500 per patient to treat. Up to $275,000 per patient if it becomes drug resistant.

This is what healthcare looks like when austerity trumps public health policy.

Here is a link to the story

7:03 PM PT: Here is some updated information to semi answer a comment in the thread

As in 2010, four states (California, Florida, New York, and Texas) continued to report more than 500 cases each in 2011. Combined, these four states accounted for 5,299 TB cases or approximately half (50.4%) of all TB cases reported in 2011.  SOURCE CDC "Trends in Tuberculosis

Originally posted to mikeypaw on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 05:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and DKos Florida.

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