Illegal cheese being imported from Mexico has been blamed for sickening a number of Hispanic immigrants, including many children, in Southern California, ktla.com is reporting.
The unpasteurized cheese, which is tainted with a rare form of tuberculosis called Mycobacterium bovis, is common in Mexico and often made at home by immigrant families, health officials say.
Mycobacterium bovis is the bacteria responsible for causing TB in cattle and is related to M. tuberculosis, which causes TB in humans. Mycobacterium bovis is able to jump species and cause TB in humans. It causes less than 1 percent of tuberculosis cases in humans in the U.S., according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It is treated with a combination of antibiotics.
In San Diego County, the number of cases is on the rise among children who are believed to have consumed the tainted cheese, which is called queso fresco cheese or bathtub cheese, ktla is reporting.