Thursday, October 30, 2014

Coweta middle school student positive for TB


By Josh Akeman

A Smokey Road Middle School student has been confirmed to have tuberculosis, and additional screening at the school found 28 others positive for exposure to the disease.
According to Hayla Folden with District 4 Health Services, verbal confirmation of the positive results for the student came in Friday morning, though she didn't have test reports in hand. She said the student's condition was caught "pretty early" and the treatment should be effective.
Her department was contacted by a hospital two weeks ago about the student displaying tuberculosis symptoms. Screening of students and bus drivers at the school began on Oct. 16.
"It's standard to test everyone that has been in close contact," Folden said of tuberculosis cases. Though it can be transmitted this way, Folden said the risk level is "very low" and that you have to be "around someone in close contact for a period of time."
Folden said that of the roughly three hundred subjects screened, 28 came back positive for exposure to the disease. Positive exposure is called "latent tuberculosis," she said, and can develop into active tuberculosis if untreated.
Though 28 positive tests may sound alarming, Folden said that it is typical in any population that around 10% of people will test positive for exposure. The numbers in this case line up with that 10% expectation. It is not necessarily the case that the infected student was responsible for exposing all 28 people.
Folden said those 28 will have further medical follow ups and be offered treatment.


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