Alabama elementary school teacher tests positive for TB

Tuberculosis

A third grade teacher at an Irvington, Alabama, elementary school recently tested positive for tuberculosis, prompting mandatory testing for more than 100 third graders, according to a Friday report by the Mobile County Health Department.

Health officials with the MCHD said that the unnamed 46-year-old teacher tested positive last week and will be treated and counseled regarding self-isolation until she is cleared to return to work, the Global Dispatch reports.

“The diagnosis was found during a medical procedure, so we don’t think there will be a lot of risk,” Bernard Eichold, a doctor with the MCHD, said, according to the Global Dispatch.

All 116 third graders at Pearl Haskew Elementary School will receive free and mandatory TB testing on Wednesday.

Martha Peek, the school superintendent, said that Pearl Haskew officials are taking precautionary measures.

“The filters in (our) HVAC system are the type of the same caliber that are used in hospitals, so there is very safe filtering of the air there,” Peek said, according to the Global Dispatch.

Peek added that the school changed its HVAC filters as a precaution.

TB spreads through the air and can affect the lungs, brain, kidneys and spine. General symptoms include feeling weak or sick, fever, weight loss and night sweats, the Global Dispatch reports.

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