TB outbreak at clubs under control


Baltimore Health Department investigators say they have controlled an outbreak of tuberculosis among gay and bisexual men who belong to African-American social clubs that stage dance competitions along the East Coast.

The department found 19 active and 23 dormant cases of TB, a serious respiratory infection.

The outbreak came to light in mid-1998 and was contained within a year when health officials traced the disease to members of clubs known as "houses." More than half of the men who contracted tuberculosis were also infected with the AIDS virus, which lowers defenses against disease.

The outbreak, reported today in the journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, spread to New York, where several more cases were identified. Three of the men in New York and one in Baltimore have died, but the CDC said it was unclear whether they died of TB or complications of AIDS.

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