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As TB cases spread, TWU demands response

A tuberculosis outbreak at a Brooklyn transit facility has union officials demanding the city take action against it before it continues to spread.

An additional two cases of TB were identified over the weekend among workers at the NYC Transit mobile wash facility on Quay Street in Greenpoint, bringing the total spotted in the last few weeks to five, according to Maurice Jenkins, the transit union chief for stations.

Workers hose down subway stations during the night, but union officials want all 90 members of the department to be tested for tuberculosis.

Officials “are acting nonchalant about it,” said Jenkins, who met with workers and the city Department of Health on Monday night. “What happens if (it) is transmitted?”

A city Department of Health spokeswoman said they are not recommending testing right now, but the situation is still under investigation. A transit spokeswoman said they are deferring to city health officials to handle the cases.

TB is a bacterial infection that spreads through the air, causing coughing and fever. It is treatable, and not all of those infected develop symptoms, according to the health department.

City officials couldn’t confirm the number of diagnosed cases nor say yesterday how sick those infected had become.

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