University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Tuberculosis on the Great Plains: The Grand Forks Epidemic is Feb. 21

One of the largest tuberculosis (TB) outbreaks in North Dakota occurred in Grand Forks when persons who were infected with TB exposed people through a rich social network with multiple households and contacts. These infectious people, who do not have a permanent residence, stayed with a variety of friends in a number of homes in the area. As of Feb. 2, there are 16 active TB cases, with an additional 45 people on directly- observed daily medication therapy.

This outbreak has involved an incredible effort by Grand Forks Public Health, Altru Health System, the North Dakota Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in testing, clinical intervention, and medical follow-up of over 900 people. This presentation provides an overview of ongoing activities, including disease surveillance, contact tracing, testing, clinical issues, medications, and post-hospital support.

Presenters are:

• James Hargreaves, Grand Forks City and County health officer, Altru Health System.
• Shawn McBride, Northeast Regional field epidemiologist, North Dakota Department of Health.
• Don Shields, director, Grand Forks Public Health Department.

The presentation is from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Clifford Haugen Lecture Hall at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks.

The presentation will be videoconferenced to the following sites:

• Center for Family Medicine–Bismarck Room 2108
• Fargo Campus Room 225
• Center for Family Medicine–Minot Administrative Conference Room

The presentation will be recorded and available for viewing after the event at

Lunch will be served. The public is invited to attend. Read more at

-- Raymond Goldsteen, director, North Dakota MPH at UND, and professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine