McHenry County Discovers Dangerous TB Case

With all the talk about consolidating government, I’ve been wondering why McHenry County still has a Tuberculosis District.

It is financed with $250,000 of property tax dollars a year.

TB Districts were the first public health districts in Illinois.

McHenry County did not create its own Health Department until the mid-1960’s.  (My home county on the Eastern Shore of Maryland had a health department before I was born in 1942.)

In  the 1980’s then County Board member Ann Hughes got a referendum on the ballot to abolish the TB District, but that failed.

I recently took a look at the meeting packet of the TB District and found an extraordinary story.

McHenry County’s Health Department dealt with a case of drug resistant tuberculosis of nationwide significance in May and June.

How important was it?

The New York Times wrote a big story about it entitled, “Indian Woman Being Treated in U.S. for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis.

Susan Karras

Susan Karras

Quoted was Susan Karras, the Health Department’s Communicable Disease Coordinator.

A woman recently from India via Missouri and Tennessee sought medical help from a local hospital.

When diagnosed with tuberculosis, the Health Department arranged for her medical care to be provided by a National Institutes of Health hospital near Washington.

Federal taxpayers foot the bill there, according to Anthony Fauci, head of the agency, “Everything is free at the N.I.H.  No one pays,” the New York Times reported.

Karras told me that the County paid to fly her to the National Institute of Health facility in Bethesda, Maryland.

The air ambulance cost $12,000.

McHenry County Health Department Director Michael Hill explained what happened:

Mike Hill

Mike Hill

Because we were able to get this patient to NIH (this involved going all the way to the President’s office [by the CDC]) the direct costs to us were minimized.

I was able to get the air transport done for $12,000 (quotes ranged up to $35,000 from the few companies who were willing to do it).

I can’t complain about the federal government in this case since the patient’s treatment by NIH probably will end up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the feds took on that expense.

If the county had to absorb the cost of this patient’s treatment, it would have been financially crippling for the TB program.

Below is the summary of the case that caught my attention.

Spread of the type of tuberculosis treated in McHenry this summer.

Spread of the type of tuberculosis treated in McHenry this summer.

On June 5th, the Health Department sent out the following press release on the matter:

Health Department reports case of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis

Woodstock Ill. — McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) reports that on April 4 an individual from India infected with an extensively drug-resistant form of Tuberculosis, also known as XDR-TB, entered the United States and then traveled to other states.

On May 18, this individual visited family in McHenry County and, during this visit, sought treatment.

The patient has since been transferred out of state for care. Individuals who were in close contact with the patient have been interviewed and are being monitored.

Tuberculosis is not easily transmissible and XDR-TB, in particular, is also rare.

XDR-TB is a form of TB which is resistant to many of the most powerful anti-TB drugs.

According to the World Health Organization, developing XDR-TB is usually a sign of an active TB patient receiving inadequate clinical care or when a patient doesn’t receive the proper information, counseling and material support to complete their full course of treatment.

Tuberculosis is spread through the air by an infected person when coughing and sneezing.

People who are nearby may breathe in the TB bacteria and become infected.

TB is not spread by shaking someone’s hand, sharing food or drink, touching bed linens or toilet seats, sharing toothbrushes or kissing.

This is the first time MCDH has identified a case of XDR-TB in the County.

MCDH works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health and local public health partners through its surveillance system to identify and monitor reportable infectious diseases in McHenry County.

In 2014, five active cases of TB (not XDR-TB) and 57 people with latent, non-infectious TB were treated.

MCDH’s Tuberculosis Clinic, located in Woodstock, provides chest x-rays, diagnostic studies, laboratory services and medication to any McHenry County resident in addition to outreach to those populations at high risk for developing TB.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with TB, contact your health care provider or MCDH to see if you should be tested. For more information on TB, call MCDH’s Communicable Disease Program at 815-334-4500


McHenry County Discovers Dangerous TB Case — 9 Comments

  1. My comment really has nothing to do with TB; it is relative to the attitude of most people in the public sector – elected and unelected.

    The comment: “treatment by NIH probably will end up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the feds took on that expense.” is indicative of the mindset that money expended by “the feds” is different than the money spent by the County.


    Keep this story about TB in mind when you are exposed to people such as Gutierrez and others who advocate open borders and Durbin who wants to import 100,000 more Muslims.

    Don’t forget Kirk supports Durbin.

  2. So if taxes are taxes are taxes, and it doesn’t matter who supplied those taxes, then why does anyone locally care about how local government spends tax dollars?

    Concerned voter, your comment lacks any actual substance.

    What IS your point?

  3. In the 1950’s and 1960’s my Mother worked in the kitchens at hospitals and food service.

    Every year she had to go downtown to have chest xrays and tests for tb.

    They had to wear hairnets and gloves.

    Now people are hired by restaurants and fast food places and no tests are given to them to see if they are healthy.

    We think an antibiotic can solve everything but we are wrong and that is why there is drug resistant strains of tb.

    We might hire people cheaper but what cost is it to our health?

  4. Karma, there is a reason most of our ‘restaurant workers’ go untested….I don’t think we have to spell it out.

    I’m all for hard working people and this is not what my statement is about… it’s about the INABILITY of employers to test and submit ANY documents relating to its workers.

    Just one example of the dangers of hiring the undocumented. 99.9 percent of them are just looking to make a living and support a family, but, ………!!

    Now, our politicians want to flood our state with more and more people whom I highly doubt have received the best preventative care since infancy.

    At the very least, can we consider a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and send all new restaurant hires down to the local health departments for some basic testing?

  5. Just curious: Based on your comment, you should run for the McHenry County Board (or you are already a member).

    You would it in well with the current majority.

  6. Concerned Voter:

    You are incorrect when you say money spent locally is the same as federal spent dollars.

    Money spent locally is certainly tax payers bounty; money spent federally is simply “money created from debt” which we the US citizen pay interest on in the form of US bond and Treasury bill obligation backed by the “Full Faith and Credit” clause of US Constitution.

    It used to be gold before 1971.

    Lincoln produced money called “greenback” from nothing as Defense Secretary Stanton properly counseled him as permissable under US COnstituion in 1862.

    The principle debt is never paid off just refinanced through more debt currency through Federal Reserve System and is why US is 18 Trillion in the hole and why it will never be paid back.

    It is also why the debt ceiling is an illusion and will never be decreased or maintained.

    If all debt was paid off, there would be no debt currency.

    It is also why 1% are getting richer at a faster rate than the rest of the rich and why you and me are being left behind and in time middle class will be nonexistent.

    For instance, 2 billion is still owed for WWI which we, the federal taxpayer, pay interest every year.

    This list goes on and on of principle we have never or will never pay off.

    This is the power of the printing press at the disposal of the Banking Cartel with the consent of Congress.

    This luxary is not afforded to States or local governments.

    This is why Gov. Christy says, correctly so, that discretionary spending under Federal budget is less than 30% and shrinking.

    It is all being consumed by interest on debt owed, estimated 8 Trillion of which to the US Federal Reserve, a private bank.

    The different issue is why would a person diagnosed with TB in a foreign land be allowed to immigrate into the US.

    Answer because we are nation no longer with borders and rational immigration policy.

    Tax collections could not afford the cost of Federal Government we have today.

    Federal Income Tax collections (1913) were intended to only pay interest on debt incurred by Fed Gov’t and take money out of circulation so more could be created from debt and loaned by member banks under a fractional banking formula at almost 900x.

    The reason why your dollar is only worth 6 cents as compared to 1913.

    This is why it was necessary 1913 (Federal Reserve System) and (Income Tax) to also Amend Constitution to change the manner in which Senators were elected from State Legislatures to majority citizen vote.

    Majority of states would have never gone for this “ponzi scheme of money creation” while the people can be fooled and were.

    This is why it was necessary for the banking cartel to destroy politicians like Wms Jennings Bryan and many others then and now who speak against the greatest theft ever in the history of the world.

    The Federal Reserve Act was the only piece of US Federal leglislation passed ever on “Christmas Eve”, 1913 when most dissenters had gone home for the holiday.

    If, we the people, can regain control of our money as presecribed by Constitution and again embrace founding principles of individual freedom most of the problems which plague us today will go away, including foregin conflicts in Middle East and we will again emerge as the economic giant and beacon of hope for the rest of the world.

  7. Numbnuts well right now republican majorities in congress along with dems chose to take country of origin off or our food such as meat.

    If you blame the government are you calling Hultgren and other conservatives to change the laws, or do you only get upset when a democrat is in?

    Reagan started making immigration easier and I see a lot of people around McHenry getting their lawns cut, roofs replaced, etc by people that may be here illegally.

    Are you asking their employers if they hire illegals?

    The US is the only country out of the top countries that don’t charge employers for illegally hiring illegals.

    Yes we don’t use common sense and try to prevent illness.

    We push medications when a person gets sick.

    If some people can get medical care and others can’t everyone is in danger of contracting these illnesses.

    The Congress and companies also push airlines and travelling and accept European visas which could bring more terrorists in than refugees can bring in.

    Refugees are scrutinized for a 18 months but anyone can buy an airline ticket from Europe and come here.

  8. The constitution also says no standing army. If the congressmen aren’t men enough to declare war we should not be sending or stationing troops in foreign countries.

  9. From the things the government won’t tell you dept…

    You can thank the masses of ILLEGAL ALLIENS who are invading our country for the resurgence of diseases such as TB and Whooping Cough.

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