ELYRIA — A resident and frequent downtown Elyria bar patron has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, prompting an investigation by the Mercy Tuberculosis Clinic.
According to the clinic, the patient was a frequent visitor of Boomers Bar, 305 Broad St., and Pudge’s Place, at 311 Broad St. The clinic sent out a press release Tuesday asking customers who have visited the bars between Dec. 1 and April 9 to be tested.
Free testing was conducted onsite at both bars Tuesday.
Tuberculosis, also called TB, is a rare-but-serious disease which affects the lungs. It is spread through the air by close prolonged contact when a person coughs, speaks, laughs or sings. It is not transmitted through casual contact or contact with surfaces, according to the news release from Mercy.
Almost all cases of TB are curable. However, a person with TB can die if not treated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The person who was diagnosed with TB is under care at Mercy TB Clinic and expected to make a full recovery.
Dennis Provenza, owner of Boomers, said he is cooperating with the Mercy TB Clinic. Staff at the clinic set up a table at the bar Tuesday afternoon and completed tests on employees and patrons.
Provenza, who has owned Boomers for 23 years, said the situation is concerning as many of his employees likely had contact with the man. He said it is also concerning that Mercy singled out Boomers Bar and Pudge’s Place, which he fears will face negative publicity as a result.
“I don’t know many were exposed. He does go to other bars,” he said.
LeAnn Hastings, spokeswoman for Mercy, said the bars were identified by the patient during an interview. She had no information on how many people may have visited the bars during that time.
Provenza said Boomers Bar experienced a similar problem 10 to 12 years ago during which a woman with TB visited the bar, among others in the area. Otherwise, the bar has had no other problems and complies with all health regulations, he said.
The owner of Pudge’s Place was not available Tuesday.
Regular customers of Boomers Bar and Pudge’s Place who were not tested Tuesday can still do so, according to Mercy.
Free testing will be conducted at the Mercy TB Clinic, 1800 Livingston Ave., Building B, Suite 318, in Lorain. Tests will be administered fr 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, and they will be read 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. Tests will be provided at no cost.
Individuals with medical conditions that weaken the immune system are advised to get tested.
According to the clinic, the skin test is painless. The two-part process first is administered to the arm. Two days later, a nurse examines the arm to see how the individual has responded to the skin test.
Anyone being tested must be present both days.
For more information, call the Mercy TB Clinic at (440) 244-3017.