Possible case of tuberculosis found in Roosevelt Elementary student - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Possible case of tuberculosis found in Roosevelt Elementary student

Spokane WA - Right the Health District is investigating a possible active case of tuberculosis detected in a student at Roosevelt Elementary School.  Children, staff and volunteers who had prolonged contact with the person are being offered precautionary testing, to determine if they have been exposed.

There will be a press conference with Health District spokespersons to shed more light on this situation. That press conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday.

A letter went home with students to inform the school community about the situation. The school is working closely with the Health District, and will continue to keep parents updated as the situation evolves. If the investigation identifies others who may have been at risk, the Health District will contact those people/parents directly.

Initial tests to determine if the student has active TB infection show that TB disease is a likelihood, however the Health District is waiting for further results from more definitive lab tests to find out if this is a case of TB disease. 

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that spreads from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but may affect other parts of the body. When a person with TB of the lung coughs or sneezes the germs can be put into the air.

People who share the same air for long periods may become infected. TB infection can be successfully treated with antibiotics. In most people who become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop it from growing. The bacteria become inactive, but remain alive in the body and in one out of ten cases, it can become active later in life.

Casual exposure to an infectious case of TB does not lead to infection in most people. Most people who become infected can still prevent the disease through antibiotic treatment, and they are not contagious.

An average of about eight cases of active TB disease are diagnosed in Spokane every year. The Spokane Regional Health District works closely with state health officials and local medical providers to control TB by ensuring that people with TB and their close contacts get the evaluation and treatment they need.
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