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Tuberculosis in Houston County Jail?

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

This time it's not a loaded pistol found inside an inmate's mattress or another gun being thrown inside a laundry basket by yet another inmate. Still, it has potential to be just as deadly

On May 22 a female inmate was transferred from Houston County's jail to the state's Tutwiller Prison, and with her she brought a potentially deadly disease.

The jail’s commander, Will McCarty explains, "They do a routine check, a TB test on all incoming inmates there, and one of the inmates tested positive"

Standard procedures in the Houston County Jail don't include testing for tuberculosis. Instead, an inmate signs to release their health records to the jail and is questioned by the jail nurse.

"Our procedures will be tighter, and we will have to take those steps" says the Houston County Sheriff’s Department Commander Donn McMullon.

"We could change some of the questions on the intake questionnaire," adds McCarty.

Houston County's health department nurses tested the female population of 75 inmates in the jail for TB on Thursday. Until test results come back next week, officials say they won't quarantine the female inmates.

Jail personnel have been tested for tuberculosis. If they test positive they'll have to take a leave of absence until they get well enough to return.

Tutwiller Prison quarantined all 160 of their inmates. Officials say this is the first case they can recall that's been found in the jail.


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