Lincoln-produced Honda vehicles tops in quality survey

In this file photo from April 2010, Honda workers are shown performing quality checks on vehicles. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)

LINCOLN -- The Alabama Department of Public Health this week notified officials at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama of plans to investigate a case of pulmonary tuberculosis identified in a contract worker at the Honda plant in Lincoln.

Pam Barrett, the director of the ADPH division of TB Control in Montgomery, said ADPH and Honda are working closely to ensure Honda employees are screened quickly.

“At this time, the number of people exposed to this is small, less than 200,” Barrett said.

She said officials will begin testing individuals who could have been exposed to the worker Friday.

“We are working very closely with Honda to develop and implement a screening plan,” said Dr. Burnestine Taylor, medical officer, Disease Control and Prevention. “As with any identified case of tuberculosis in Alabama, ADPH will implement precautionary testing, investigation and control measures.”

ADPH and Honda officials began identifying staff Monday who might have been in close contact with the contractor.

According to the ADPH, “close contact” is defined generally as “spending an extended amount of time with the subject in a physically close environment.”

Those who were in close contact with the individual have been notified.

Tuberculosis is a treatable and preventable disease. Persons who were in close contact with the suspected case are rapidly assessed and appropriate preventive measures taken, according to ADPH officials.

Only those who were in close contact with the individual need to be tested, according to the Health Department.

Attempts to reach Honda officials for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.