High school student diagnosed with TB

September 4, 2009 9:59:17 PM PDT
A student at Antioch High School was diagnosed Thursday night with active tuberculosis, Contra Costa Health Services Communicable Disease Chief Francie Wise said today.

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The student, a senior, is doing well, but has been taken out of school to protect other students from possible exposure, Wise said.

School officials have been working closely with the health department to coordinate their response to the case.

Wise said that students likely had minimal exposure to the disease, since school has only been in session for 10 days, but health officials will be talking to parents and testing all students who may have come into contact with the infected student. Tests are scheduled for Sept. 22.

TB can be diagnosed with a simple skin test. If the skin test is positive, a chest x-ray is usually necessary to determine if the infection is active.

Many people who are infected with TB never develop active symptoms and don't become contagious.

TB is caused by a germ that usually infects the lungs. It can be spread from person to person through coughing and can be treated with antibiotics, according to the health department.

So far there is no indication that the infected student has contracted multi-drug resistant TB, which is more difficult to treat, Wise said.

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