Health & Medicine

Sacramento officials confirm TB case at Florin High School

Numerous colonies of the tuberculosis bacterium, buff in color and rough in texture, bond together in this microscopic view at the Sacramento County Public Health Laboratory.
Numerous colonies of the tuberculosis bacterium, buff in color and rough in texture, bond together in this microscopic view at the Sacramento County Public Health Laboratory. Sacramento

Sacramento County health officials announced Saturday that a Florin High School student has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis and said warning letters were being mailed to the parents of all students who may have been exposed.

The county’s Division of Public Health said in an announcement Saturday morning that the student “is currently isolated at home and under care.”

“There is no longer a risk of exposure to students and staff at the school,” the announcement added.

Only students and staff who shared a classroom with the student will be tested, and the health division said testing has been scheduled at Florin High. Anyone testing positive for TB will be evaluated further.

The health division announcement noted that for anyone to become infected, they must have had close and prolonged exposure to the student.

“The majority of people who have been infected with tuberculosis have latent TB infection and do not develop active tuberculosis disease,” the announcement noted. “Those with latent TB do not have symptoms and do not transmit the bacteria to others.”

Both forms of TB can be treated successfully with antibiotics, the agency noted.

Tuberculosis can be fatal and was once the leading cause of death in this country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, and can be spread by coughing and sneezing. Symptoms can include fatigue, pain in the chest, a bad cough lasting three weeks, chills and fever.

“Public Health is working closely with school officials to proactively investigate and screen any potential exposures,” the announcement quoted Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye as saying. “We want to focus first on those in the same classrooms as the diagnosed student, so that we can quickly evaluate them and provide preventive treatment.”

Parents with concerns may call Florin High School at (916) 689-8600 on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Last year, an outbreak of tuberculosis at Grant High School was reported after five students tested positive for the active disease, and nearly 500 students and school workers were tested.

Saturday’s announcement comes as health officials in the region have dealt with a spate of health alerts warning of possible Ebola virus and measles cases. Both individuals tested for Ebola in Sacramento-area hospitals tested negative, health officials said last week, as did two suspected measles cases.

Call The Bee’s Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091.

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