Seven Charleston County Detention Center inmates had tuberculosis between August 2009 and April 2010 and now jail officials are trying to contact former inmates who might have been in close contact with them.

Four of the seven inmates were diagnosed after they left the detention center. Three of the cases were communicable, Clark said.

Officials have identified some of the individuals' cell mates, who will receive a letter from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Anyone who receives a letter is asked to follow the directions in the letter, Clark said.

The jail's IT system has not been able to identify all inmates who have been in close contact with the infected inmates. Anyone who is concerned they have been in close proximity to an infected inmate should call DHEC at 723-3800, ext. 4609.

Clark said infectious diseases are nothing new to jails because of the confined, close quarters and because inmates are typically sicker than the general population.

He said inmates who show symptoms of TB during booking are tested then. Any inmate housed for up to 14 days receive a physical which includes a TB skin-test. Long-term inmates receive the same physical annually, he said.