By LeaAnne Klentzman
Waiting game – A group of Fort Bend County Road and Bridge employees are waiting on TB tests results. Concerned citizens have told the Star of a case(s) of tuberculosis at the Dairy Ashford Road and Bridge location; a facility that houses numerous county operations.
Road and Bridge Director Mark Grant said Monday afternoon, “The Health Department is handling it and no case has been confirmed, as of today.” However, according to those in the eye of the storm, two of their coworkers have tested positive, one having been off for nearly a month. Deputy Director of Fort Bend Health and Human Services Kay Reynolds MPH, said, “There is no outbreak anywhere in Fort Bend County that they were aware of.” Although, she said, “The Health Department would not be investigating unless there had been an active case.”
She explained that just because an individual shows a positive test result did not mean they had the disease, only that they had been exposed to it at some point in their life. Reynolds said an investigation into an infectious disease such as TB follows a circular protocol beginning with those closest to the active case spiraling out until they reach a ring of negative results. She explained that testing generally begins with family and then moves to those in the workplace with close ties and proximity to the active case.
While Reynolds could not discuss any specifics, she did say that those who are tested initially will again be tested 8 weeks out to make sure there were still no signs of the disease. So, after 8 weeks, the Health Department will again return to the unidentified facility where an active case was identified.
Oh, and by the way, if anyone tests positive, they are treated at the time of exposure as a preventive measure to make sure TB does not crop up later in life when the immune system is somehow compromised. No outbreak, only a spiral investigation into at least one active case.
So, is that as clear as mud in your eye?
Taking it to the skies – Since he can’t seem to keep deputies in patrol cars on the streets, the Fort Bend County Sheriff is looking to the skies. After taking a trip to Kentucky to look over their chopper operation the Sheriff is now talking up the opportunities offered up by a helicopter.
Now to be fair, he is not trying to get it up and running anytime soon, he just wants to kick the tires and have it in the talking stages, you know, something for all of Fort Bend County, all of Fort Bend County who is going to foot the bill that is. Even if the chopper is free, the maintenance and fuel will eat the taxpayer’s lunch. Remember Harris County? Heck if the pilots he hires are anything like the crash dummies he has behind the wheel of the patrol cars…we are in trouble!
Which brings us to fleet accidents, a fleet accident is simply an accident that causes damage to a motorized vehicle that belongs to the fleet of Fort Bend County. So the Road and Bridge guys can wreck a maintainer or a truck while law enforcement folks crashes cars and SUVs, so far no SWAT Bearcats have been harmed in their operations.
Anyway, the number of those law enforcement crashes is up, a lot, and the crashes are significant, not fender benders. According to those in the know, accidents are attributed to many factors: speed, traffic, road conditions, overdriving one’s ability, or just flat out try’n to get there to back someone up.
Whatever the cause, the accident rate has got to go down, which means staffing has got to pick up and the open positions filled with qualified personnel who are also skilled drivers. With the current number of crashes, is it time to consider a patrol fleet of Vespas? Little red and blue lights on their helmets… if they overdrive that bad-boy…there’re personally committed with copious amounts of road rash! It would reduce fuel costs too!
Send questions or inquiries
to LeaAnne Klentzman
Fort Bend Star
4655 Techniplex Dr. Suite 300
Stafford Texas 77477