KENOSHA COUNTY -- An inmate being held at the Kenosha County Detention Center is being evaluated for tuberculosis.
According to a statement from Kenosha County Sheriff's officials, on Friday, January 20th, the inmate experienced shortness of breath and chest pain. The inmate was transported for medical treatment and is being evaluated for tuberculosis.
"They did a CAT scan and they came up with a possible reading of tuberculosis, one kind of it. They put him in a negative airflow room, which we have at the facility and he's being housed there right now. They're going through the testing process and there's not been a confirmed case of TB at all. We're taking every precaution," Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said.
Sheriff's officials said previously established departmental policies and procedures in regards to transmission-based illness precautions were immediately implemented.
The inmate was immediately transferred to a medical isolation room within the jail.
The inmates in the dorm in question at the Kenosha County Detention Center along with staff that had contact with the dorm’s inmates are being tested as a precaution.
The inmates in the dorm the inmate was living in were isolated in compliance with Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Policy and Procedure.
"For a very short time, we locked down the cell block or the dorm this gentleman was in and they are going through the testing process with anyone who may have come in contact with him," Sheriff Beth said.
These policies are in accordance with CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines in regards to the prevention and control of tuberculosis.
The tuberculosis diagnosis in this case has not been confirmed -- and further testing is being conducted, officials said.
Tuberculosis is not easy to transmit to others. It requires close and continued contact with the person with disease.
Simply being in the same room as the person with tuberculosis does not mean you will be infected.
Officials said all Kenosha County Jail inmates are tested with a skin test for tuberculosis soon after admission.
The inmate in question tested negative when that test was conducted.
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is working in conjunction with the Kenosha County Division of Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to facilitate the testing procedures to ensure the safety of all personnel and people held in custody.
There is no danger to the community at large, officials said.
The fiancee of an inmate said she's concerned. She said the inmates are not getting the same protection as staff members.
"They have masks. They have hand sanitizer, and they're not being offered to inmates. They are requesting it. They are being denied," she said.
Sheriff Beth said officials are prepared to deal with it if there is TB in the detention center, and stop its spread -- as they did during an Ebola scare in 2016, and another possibility of TB before that.
"We process hundreds of people into our jail every single day," Sheriff Beth said.
More information about tuberculosis can be found HERE.