7 cases of tuberculosis in Alabama poultry plants reported; testing scheduled

By William Thornton 

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) says seven cases of confirmed or suspected tuberculosis have been reported among people who have worked in poultry plants in four Alabama counties.

As a result, ADPH is testing people in Colbert, Franklin, Lawrence and Lauderdale counties for the disease, also known as TB, which attacks the lungs.

Anyone who has worked in the poultry industry in those counties since June 2022, or is currently working there, is asked to be screened through a blood test. According to ADPH, the cases reported have not been limited to any particular racial or ethnic group.

Tuberculosis is a type of bacteria that is usually spread from one infected person’s lungs to another’s through activities such as talking or coughing. However, it is not transmitted in food. It can be treated with antibiotics and is almost always cured, according to ADPH. Anyone of any age can become infected, and those infected can be very sick or may show no symptoms.

For each eligible individual who completes the testing, a $20 gift card will be offered.

Testing will be available on the following days and locations from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.:

Lauderdale County Health Department, 4112 Chisholm Road, Florence; Monday, Aug. 7, and Wednesday, Aug. 9. For more information, call (256) 764-7453.

Colbert County Health Department, 1000 S. Jackson Highway, Sheffield; Thursday, Aug. 10. For more information, call (256) 383-1231.

Lawrence County Health Department, 13299 Alabama Highway 157, Moulton; Monday, Aug. 14. For more information, call (256) 974-1141.

Franklin County Health Department, 801 County Road 48, Russellville; Thursday, Aug. 17. For more information, call (256) 332-2700.