Tuberculosis outbreak blamed on stripper

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Dozens of people in St. Maarten are being treated for latent tuberculosis after health officials warned that they may have been exposed to the illness by a stripper infected with an active form of the disease.

At least 40 people tested positive after the health department treated an exotic dancer from the Dominican Republic several months ago and sent her home, according to a government news release issued Friday.

Health officials struggled to identify those exposed, launching a public campaign to urge anyone who had contact with the woman to seek treatment. They now believe they have identified everyone infected.

Tuberculosis is caused by airborne bacteria that attack the lungs and can be fatal. People with latent tuberculosis do not feel sick and present no symptoms, but are at risk of contracting the full disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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