Officials make recommendations on preventing TB outbreak

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - More than a year after a tuberculosis outbreak developed in Jacksonville's homeless population, federal officials have made recommendations on how the disease can be prevented.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health evaluated four homeless shelters last year: the City Rescue Mission's Downtown and McDuff campuses, the Trinity Rescue Mission, and the Community Rehabilitation Center.

The institute has now recommended some changes for each facility. Those changes include developing infection control plans, changing shelter ventilation systems to allow for more fresh outside air, and repairing or replacing bathroom exhaust fans.

And some facilities were urged to create respiratory separation areas, where people suspected of having TB or other respiratory diseases could stay until medical treatment was available.

The recommendations have been shared with each facility and with the Jacksonville Community Tuberculosis Coalition.

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