Health department handling upswing in county TB cases

By Abby Hackmann - [email protected]

LAURINBURG — The Board of Health discussed a recent outbreak of tuberculosis in Scotland County during Tuesday night’s meeting.

There are currently six individuals with tuberculosis in Scotland County.

“We’ve had that many or more in the past, but not recently and some counties have a lot more than that, but it is important from a public health standpoint to prevent tuberculosis from being transferred from person to person,” said Wayne Raynor, interim health director. “It’s our responsibility to try and prevent it.”

The infected residents are on medication and are asked to stay in their house until they are cured to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. They are allowed to leave their home once they produce negative sputum two weeks apart.

The disease results in weight loss and sleep deprivation, and it can be fatal. The board of health is taking the cases very seriously and noted a few of the infected residents have not been abiding by the isolation order requesting them to stay in their homes.

“We will go to the magistrate if they are not staying in the home,” Raynor said. “It knows no boundaries.”

The board also discussed a fruit fly incident near the Hasty community in the southeast area of Scotland County.

Wayne E. Bailey, Inc. has produced 10 million pounds of sweet potatoes, which have attracted thousands of fruit flies to their building and the surrounding area.

Complaints have been made from residents near the area.

“The company is doing a really good job of fogging every day to reduce the population of the fruit flies and pretty much all of the complaints have dropped to zero the last several days and we’re keeping an eye on that and monitoring it,” Raynor said. “They are fogging, which is an environmentally friendly spray that doesn’t bother the potatoes and it’s not a hazard to the community in any way and it keeps the fruit fly population down.”

In other business, the board discussed vacancies in the health department, including the roles of health director and nutritionist. The board formed interviewing committees during the meeting to move forward in filling the positions as soon as possible.

The board also discussed:

— Allocating $20,000 for Child Health and Maternal Health Programs.

— Purchasing new cat traps for Animal Control.

— Creating smoke free and tobacco free zones in the buildings and public parks in the county.

— The purchase of additional memory for laptops to increase Electronic Medical Records efficiency.

By Abby Hackmann

[email protected]

Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.

Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.

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