A student at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School is undergoing treatment for tuberculosis (TB), prompting others who have had contact with the student to be tested for TB.
Read the text of a press release from the Richmond County Health Department below:
The Richmond County Health Department (RCHD) is working with Richmond County Board of Education officials to notify and test students, faculty, and staff who were possibly exposed to an individual with suspected Tuberculosis (TB).
The individual, an AR Johnson High School student, is receiving standard treatment as prescribed by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines based on clinical signs and symptoms. The confirmatory bacteriological test is pending. The RCHD TB Control staff began testing close contacts to the student.
Patients with active TB disease are not allowed to return to school, work, or in the public until they are considered non-contagious.
Positive skin tests in the absence of symptoms and clinical evidence of the disease only suggest exposure to TB at sometime during a lifetime. This does not mean that they have active TB Disease and they cannot spread TB to others. Individuals in this group take medication to prevent the possibility of developing active TB Disease later in life.
TB is an infectious disease that can be spread from person to person through the air. It usually attacks the lungs, but it also can attack other parts of the body. It is not easy to get TB. Repeated exposure over a long period of time to a person who is contagious is usually required to contract the disease. Even after becoming infected, many people who have the TB bacterium in their bodies will never develop the active disease and are not contagious. Risk factors for contracting this infection include conditions causing suppression of the immune system, steroid medications, chronic lung disease, and diabetes. Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. In the United States, tuberculosis is easily treatable, and most patients experience a full recovery.
AR Johnson High School faculty, staff and students who may have been exposed may be tested at no cost at AR Johnson High School on October 11, 2013 or at the Richmond County Health Department (RCHD) located at 950 Laney Walker Boulevard, in August. For questions regarding testing, please call the TB Control Clinic at the RCHD at (706)-721-5840. Additional information on TB can be found here.
WJBF News Channel 6's Dee Griffin will have more on this story during our Thursday evening newscasts.
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