SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Someone at San Ysidro High School recently was diagnosed with tuberculosis and may have exposed students and staff to the disease, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported Friday.
The unidentified person might have spread the disease between Nov. 1, 2011, and March 6. The possible exposure was limited to some classrooms and one school bus, number 238, according to the HHSA, who was working with the Sweetwater Union High School District to notify and screen those who may have been exposed.
"TB usually requires many hours of close indoor contact to spread to others, so we want to be sure that those who shared classroom or bus time with the ill individual are tested for exposure," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "Most people who are exposed to TB do not develop the disease, and school screening represents an extra measure of safety for individuals, their families and the community."
Tuberculosis symptoms include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. The disease can be treated and cured with medication and early identification of individuals who were exposed is important to prevent illness, according to the HHSA. So far in 2012, 35 cases had been reported. In 2011, there were 263 reported local cases of tuberculosis.
The HHSA will conduct no-cost testing for identified students and staff April 11, at the school and follow up testing will be conducted May 15.
Students and staff could also arrange for testing through their healthcare providers.
San Ysidro High School parents who would like more information about testing should contact school nurse Anita Holt at (619) 710-2302. For more information on the exposure, individuals should call the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.
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