Local and federal public health officials say they're trying to contain a persistent outbreak of tuberculosis and are searching for more than 4,600 people on Los Angeles' Skid Row who may have been exposed to the disease.
The Los Angeles Times reports that nearly 80 tuberculosis cases have been identified and 11 deaths have been recorded since 2007. Most of the victims were homeless people living on downtown streets.
County health chief Dr. Jonathan Fielding says the outbreak is the largest in a decade. The outbreak has been linked to one tuberculosis strain that is unique to L.A.
Homeless people are at higher risk of contracting tuberculosis because of poor hygiene and ongoing contact with infected people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dispatched scientists to help local health officials curb the spread of the disease.