Alabama governor authorizes tuberculosis response funding

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has authorized more than $200,000 in emergency funding to help public health officials continue responding to a tuberculosis outbreak in Perry County.

Bentley said in a statement Friday that his office is authorizing $235,000 to help the Alabama Department of Public Health continue testing and treatment programs in Marion.

Officials have said an outbreak of the airborne bacterial infection has killed three people since 2011, prompting aggressive screening efforts in Marion _ which included paying local residents to get screened and follow up with necessary treatment.

Division of tuberculosis control Director Pam Barrett says more than 2,000 people had been tested for tuberculosis in Marion as of Tuesday. Barrett says 29 people had developed tuberculosis disease since 2014, and more than 150 had latent infections.